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    Plan B pill - Sibelius veto of FDA decision to allow off-the-shelf sales, and to children too
    ::
       Life, Liberty, Faith & the Family (Independent) -> The Equal Protection for Posterity Committee

    December 8, 2011

    THE WASHINGTON POST

    The lead story in today's paper is about HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius' decision, publicly announced yesterday, to overrule FDA's plan to allow making the pill available to people of all ages directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves, without a prescription. Current regulations allow sales by pharmacists after verifying that the purchaser is at least 17. Younger girls can be prescribed the drug.

    Sibelius and HHS spokesperson presented the decision as based solely on science, but the Post quotes a senior White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, describing the decision as political.

    Here's excerpt from the story:

    Plan B has long been controversial and was the focus of one of the most contentious health disputes during the Bush administration. It works primarily by preventing an egg from being fertilized. But critics focus on the chance that it might prevent a very early embryo from implanting in the womb, an action they consider equivalent to an abortion. As a result, some doctors refuse to write prescriptions for it, some pharmacists refuse to fill requests, and some hospitals refuse to provide it to patients.

    ... Sebelius said she reversed the FDA’s decision because she had concluded that data submitted by the drug’s maker did not “conclusively establish” that Plan B could be used safely by the youngest girls.

    ... The decision shocked and angered the doctors, health advocates, family-planning activists, lawmakers and others who supported relaxing the restrictions to help women, including teenagers, prevent unwanted pregnancies.

    “We are outraged that this administration has let politics trump science,” said Kirsten Moore of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, a Washington-based advocacy group. “This administration is unwilling to stand up to any controversy and do the right thing for women’s health. That’s shameful.”

    Susan F. Wood of George Washington University, who resigned from the FDA in 2005 because of delays by the George W. Bush administration in relaxing restrictions on Plan B, said she was “beyond stunned” by the decision.

    “There is no rationale that can justify HHS reaching in and overturning the FDA on the decision about this safe and effective contraception,” Wood said. “I never thought I’d see this happen again.”

    Opponents of easier access, meanwhile, hailed the decision, saying relaxing the rules would have exposed girls and women to risks from taking high doses of a potent hormone and misusing the medication; interfered with parents’ ability to monitor their children; and made it easier for men to prey on vulnerable minors.

    The full text of the story is freely available on the web at the newspaper's website:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/obama-adminis...
    Wider access to Plan B is rejected | HHS OVERRULES FDA'S DECISION | Contraceptive's maker sought to drop age limit, by Rob Stein
    Posted 2011-12-08 12:40 PM (#59667) By: SteveSchulin


    The article also mentions that a court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday on a motion to declare the FDA in contempt of court for failing to review earlier its decision to leave age restrictions in place

    I don't know if its the same federal judge who in 2009 ordered the FDA to allow the sale of Plan B One-Step, a new version that works with one pill instead of the original two, to 17-year-olds without a prescription. Could the judge next week take a step towards reversing Sibelius' latest move?
    Posted 2011-12-08 12:45 PM (#59668 - in reply to #59667) By: SteveSchulin


    Thinking this through, it appears to me to be political strategy for power and money. If the FDA wasn't cooperating enough to suit the pharmaceutical companies, then another route would be tried to keep their profits coming.  Presumably, there would be less money generated without professional healthcare involved.  Recall the recent ban on non-prescription asthma inhalers.

    Now think about all the money the abortion industry stands to lose with teen do-it-yourself baby killing.

    Posted 2011-12-08 4:03 PM (#59677 - in reply to #59668) By: Philomena


    Pro-life leaders weigh in on Sebelius’ Plan B call
    By Kathleen Gilbert
    December 9, 2011
    LifeSiteNews

    [...]

    Meanwhile, others say that the move to restrict Plan B access actually benefits Planned Parenthood.

    “It is a huge financial boon for Planned Parenthood because it requires the teens to come into their facilities,” HLI America board member Bob Laird, formerly of Tepeyac Family Center, told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). 

    “Not only that, it further establishes themselves as the ‘go-to place for teen health care,’” said Laird.

    [...]

    While Planned Parenthood clearly makes “millions” off their current arrangement distributing Plan B - “they sell it for 33-35 dollars and they pay 4 or 5 dollars for it, and they do over a million a year,” said Sedlak [Jim Sedlak of Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP)] - the pro-life leader thinks that may not be Planned Parenthood’s only venue for profit. “Planned Parenthood was part of the investment group that invested in [developing] Plan B ... so I am not sure they won’t make money if the sales go up dramatically from their initial investment in it,” he said.

    Read this article at LifeSiteNews ... 

    Posted 2011-12-10 7:13 AM (#59714 - in reply to #59677) By: Philomena

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