Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Rejection of Next-Day Pill Is 'Ideology Trumping Science'

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Rejection of Next-Day Pill Is 'Ideology Trumping Science'

Article excerpt

USA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s rejection of a next-day contraceptive pill for over-the-counter purchase has been denounced as 'ideology trumping science'.

The FDA's decision was subject to an inquiry by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The investigation concluded that the procedure leading to the decision had been 'unusual'.

The pill, called Plan B, is a concentrated version of the contraceptive pill. Taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex it prevents pregnancy. Some say that it is a form of abortion, ending rather than preventing pregnancy. A review by the FDA, however, concluded that it was a contraceptive. The pill works best if taken quickly after unprotected sex, and it is therefore desirable that the pill is available for purchase without prescription. It is widely available over the counter in European pharmacies.

The GAO's report concluded that the decision was taken before the FDA's own scientific review of the product was complete and that this decision was, unusually, taken by top agency officials. …

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