FDA blocking emergency contraception

May 9, 2006 at 9:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists blasted the Food and Drug Administration for blocking over-the-counter sales of Plan B contraception.

In December 2003, two FDA advisory committees deemed Plan B emergency contraception safe and effective for over-the-counter use. FDA scientists agreed.

But more than two years later, FDA officials have not yet acted, and women still need a prescription for Plan B, USA Today reported.

The FDA's inaction represents "despicable treatment of women," said Vivian Dickerson, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California-Irvine.

Plan B contains a high dose of a hormone used in birth control pills.

"Doctors have been prescribing oral contraceptives for emergency contraception for almost three decades," said organization president Michael Mennuti, obstetrics and gynecology and human genetics and pediatrics professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Plan B "is safe, it is effective, yet it's not there for our patients," said Iffath Hoskins, senior vice president and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn.

USA Today said the FDA did not return its calls for a response.

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