From the AP:
In the year since it was approved for over-the-counter sales, the morning-after pill has become a huge commercial success for its manufacturer, but its popularity and solid safety record haven’t deterred critics from seeking to overturn the milestone ruling.
The pill, marketed by Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. as Plan B, was the focus of bitter debate for three years. After repeated delays, the Food and Drug Administration declared on Aug. 24, 2006 that customers 18 and older should be able to buy it in pharmacies without a prescription.
Barr began distributing the over-the-counter version last November, and all national pharmacy chains now stock it. The company projects that sales of Plan B will total about $80 million for 2007, almost double the total for 2006 and up eightfold from 2004, when Barr acquired the product as a prescription-only drug. * * *
Despite the booming sales, and evidence that the pill is safe if properly used, critics remain active.
A coalition of conservative groups, including the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington seeking to reverse the FDA ruling. The groups contend that the FDA acted unwisely under political pressure and lacked authority to approve the same drug for both over-the-counter and prescription-only distribution based on the user’s age.
-Ralph Michael Stein