Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sibelius overrules the FDA and refuses to allow Plan B (the morning after pill) to be made available without a prescription to women under 17 years old. She bases this entirely on the stupidity of adolescent girls: “However, the switch from prescription to over the counter for this product requires that we have enough evidence to show that those who use this medicine can understand the label and use the product appropriately.”
So what does the label say that is so hard to comprehend? When the Bush FDA likewise refused to allow the drug to be sold over the counter to minors in 2004, it made the same claim, and since the media didn’t bother telling us what the drug’s instructions were (I bet they won’t today either), I went to my local pharmacy and asked them to print them out. Those instructions: take one pill. 12 hours later, take another pill. That’s it.
In private, by the way, the FDA’s deputy operations commissioner in 2004 privately “stated that we could not anticipate, or prevent extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B.” Sibelius probably isn’t saying as nutty as that behind closed doors but the upshot is that she’s still giving us the exact same policy.