Righting a wrong? GAO audit finds fault with FDA’s decision on Plan B

By | November 17, 2005

Looks like the Government Accountability Office may just right another wrong, this time regarding the FDA’s decision to not make Plan B available without a prescription.

A congressional audit released Monday cited “unusual” steps in the FDA’s initial rejection of over-the-counter emergency contraception, including conflicting accounts of whether top officials made the decision even before scientists finished reviewing the evidence.

The FDA is reconsidering the decision on the pill, sold under the brand Plan B.

The GAO’s report found many interesting details regarding Plan B’s FDA process, including the fact that FDA scientists “overwhelmingly backed over-the-counter sales of the Plan B brand for all ages” and that FDA officials knowingly chose to ignore the scientists’s advice.

Fortunately, the FDA is re-reviewing the decision, and Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has been petitioned to give a final, unbiased decision. And that decision has got to be straight-forward. Plan B needs to be available without prescription for anyone woman who wants it. Studies have shown that unwanted pregnancies will go down drastically. Women who are raped or the victim of incest, but are too frightened to contact authorities, can use this as a form of emergency contraception. Our society as a whole will benefit from Plan B being available.

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