Intended for healthcare professionals


FDA appointment is stalled as revelations emerge over Plan B

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 10 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:317
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    The nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach as permanent commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration continues to be blocked by two senators. The senators are blocking the nomination in protest at the FDA's three year delay in approving the sale over the counter of the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B.

    Embedded Image

    President Bush listens as Dr Andrew von Eschenbach speaks at a White House ceremony in 2001

    Credit: SUSAN WALSH/AP

    Plan B is a two pill, high dose regimen of the oral contraceptive levonorgestrel. The drug is not currently approved for over the counter sale in the United States, although it is available from pharmacists in some states and is approved for over the counter sale in about 40 countries. Plan B is opposed by conservatives in the US, who say that it is an abortifacient not a contraceptive.

    Dr von Eschenbach's nomination has become entangled in revelations from the Center for Reproductive Rights, a nonprofit organisation that uses the law to advance reproductive freedom, …

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