Plan B gets its day in the sun

It’s official:

The Food and Drug Administration formally approved an application from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to allow the company to sell its Plan B emergency-contraceptive pill without a prescription to anyone regardless of age.

The move complies with an April federal court order that directed the agency to make emergency contraception available to anyone without age or point-of-sale restrictions, such as showing identification.

The approval specifically applies to Teva’s Plan B One-Step product. That product and other forms of Plan B are currently kept behind pharmacy counters and sold to people age 17 and older. Girls age 16 and younger need to obtain a prescription.

Evidently, the company has to make some packaging changes before the drug can be moved to the regular shelves, so it could still take a month or so. It also seems that this decision doesn’t apply to competing generics, so there are some fights still left to happen.

But I applaud the outcome, if not the means.


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