After nearly a decade, the fighting about the Plan B One-Step morning after pill has appeared to come to an end. The FDA approved the Plan B pill to be sold with a prescription and without an age limit. US District Judge Edward Korman approved the bill from the FDA. Korman had admonished the Bush and Obama administrations for trying to impede the over-the-counter sale of Plan B for political reasons. They are hoping that this will lower the number of unwanted pregnancies in the US.
The Plan B One-Step retails for around $60. It stops ovulation and decreases sperm motility. It will not work if the woman is already pregnant and but will not harm a fetus if taken while pregnant. There is a two-pill version as well, but this version was not included in the FDA approval.
The Center for Reproductive Rights cheered at the news. They were part of a lawsuit against the government saying that access should not be restricted for a drug that was as safe to take as aspirin. They had hoped that access to all of the different versions would be gained, particularly the cheaper generic versions but said that this was a significant step.
The new rules are not in effect immediately. The packaging needs to be changed to reflect the new rules and the old stock that is at the pharmacy must be sold according to the old rules.
The FDA was ready to approve the over-the-counter sale of the pill in 2011 but was stopped by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She said that this could mean that 10 or 11 year old girls could have access to it and buy it as easily as they could buy batteries or bubble gum. On April 5th of this year, Judge Korman ordered that the age restrictions be removed from the pill. The government complied by lowering the age from 17 t o15 and required ID for purchase. Korman continued to push and ended with the result he wanted.