US judge strikes down age restrictions for “morning after” contraceptives

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 08 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2211
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle, Washington

A federal judge has ordered the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make levonorgestrel based emergency contraceptives, the so called “morning after” pills, available over the counter without age restrictions.

Before the ruling, the FDA had approved sale of the contraceptives to women aged 17 years and older without prescription, but required those aged 16 and younger to obtain a prescription before they could purchase the drug.

The FDA approved the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, as a prescription drug in 1999. This formulation consisted of two pills containing 0.75 mg each of the …

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