FDA: Generic Morning-After Pills Available to All

Now generic alternatives can be sold over the counter to teenagers
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2014 3:15 PM CST
FDA: Generic Morning-After Pills Available to All
In this May 2, 2013 photo, pharmacist Simon Gorelikov holds a generic emergency contraceptive, also called the morning-after pill, at the Health First Pharmacy in Boston.    (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Morning-after birth control just got cheaper and easier to buy, NPR reports. After a 10-year battle, the FDA published a letter saying that generic versions of the popular Plan B One-Step can be sold to customers without proof of age. That overruled an FDA decision in July granting Teva Pharmaceuticals a 3-year window to sell its product over the counter without competition from generic products. (That was prompted by a federal ruling that aimed to make the drug available to all over the counter, the Boston Globe reports). But now the FDA calls that decision "too broad."

In a minor compromise, the FDA ordered generic-drug makers to label their products for "women 17 years of age or older," though anyone can buy them. Women's health groups responded positively, but frowned on the labeling issue. "It’s still going to be confusing for the public," said a doctor who quit the FDA in 2005 when it refused to allow Plan B sales over the counter. "But it’s another step in the right direction." It's also easy on the pocketbook: Plan B sells for around $50, while generic versions like My Way and Next Choice One Dose go for $20 to $35. (Read more morning after pill stories.)

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