A few weeks ago a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration had acted in a manner that was “arbitrary and capricious” in not allowing Plan B contraception — the morning after pill — to be sold to girls under 17 without a prescription. The FDA has now approved it for sale to those 15 and older.
U.S. regulators on Tuesday approved Plan B One-Step emergency contraception for sale to girls and women ages 15 and older without a prescription and on store shelves instead of behind pharmacy counters, Food and Drug Administration officials announced.
The move, which grants an amended application by drugmaker Teva Women’s Health Inc., is a separate action from a federal judge’s ruling earlier this month that ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the so-called “morning after pill” available to all girls and women of reproductive age, including those younger than 17.
“The FDA’s approval of Teva’s current application for Plan B One-Step is independent of that litigation and this decision is not intended to address the judge’s ruling,” agency officials said in a statement.
But the FDA had already approved this once, apparently in response to a separate application, and was overruled by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Her ruling, which President Obama supported, limited the sale to those over 17. And now the Obama administration is appealing the court ruling against that decision, which makes this all the weirder.