Teva Pharmaceuticals wants its Plan B morning-after pill to become the first truly over-the-counter form of emergency contraception. This pill will help women prevent pregnancy if taken soon after unprotected sex. Presently women with age of 17 and above can buy the medicine without the prescription but a teen while require prescription or age proof to the pharmacist.
According to many doctors and women health groups, they have long argued that the pill is safe for woman and even for younger teens and by lifting the age restriction would increase the access to everyone. Thus, if the FDA of US agrees, on Wednesday, Plan B One-Step could be moved from behind the counter to sell on drugstore shelves. Thus the Teva pharmaceutical company is expecting a decision by 8th December.
“Hopefully it will be right on the shelves between the condoms and the pregnancy tests,” Kirsten Moor of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, a Washington-based advocacy group, told the Washington Post. “We think its good news for and long overdue.”
Thus many opponents argue that making Plan B more accessible will pose more health risks to children because of the high dose of the hormone, and they have raised concerns about parents’ ability to monitor their children.
“When anybody can buy an emergency contraceptive like this over the counter, you open the door for all sorts of abuse, and especially so when it comes to child abuse and child exploitation,” Janice Crouse of Concerned Women of America told the Post.
Conservative lawmakers and advocacy groups have opposed every request to relax the restrictions on Plan B. They question the drug’s safety and whether young girls and women would use it properly without a doctor’s supervision, and they argue that wider availability could encourage sexual activity and make it easier for men to have sex with underage girls by forcing them to take the drug to prevent any pregnancies that could result.
By removing the need to see a doctor, women and girls would miss an opportunity to receive diagnoses and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and parents would have less influence over their children’s behavior, critics charge.
“Parents have to sign a permission slip for their children to go on a class trip or get their ears pierced,” Crouse said. “When you are talking about selling something like this over the counter, you are opening up a can of worms when it comes to parental involvement in their children’s lives.”