Thursday, June 25, 2009

FDA Approves Generic Plan B

On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of Plan B, the emergency contraceptive. The generic is only available by prescription for women ages 17 and under. The generic will be called Next Choice.

OK now stay with me here:

In 1999 Plan B was available by prescription only for women of all ages. Then in 2006, Plan B became available without a prescription for women 18 and older (17 and under still need a prescription). Check out a Timeline

To clarify: While Plan B became available to women 18 and older without a prescription, it is behind the counter as opposed to over the counter. This means that certain places may not stock Plan B or you pharmacist may refuse to sell it to you. Feministing has a good explanation of this vast difference.

Duramed holds marketing exclusivity for the nonprescription of Plan B until August 24, 2009. Which means that until August 24, if you are 18 and older, you cannot buy a generic form of Plan B in nonprescription form.

However the approval of a generic is HUGE news! Generic prescriptions tend to be much cheaper, making the ‘morning after’ pill more accessible to all women. And around August 24th, we can expect Next Choice to be available without a prescription for women 18 and older.

This is one step towards making emergency contraceptive available over the counter to women of all ages!

1 comment:

Laura said...

This is very exciting!!

I actually just looked at this information for another project, and you can get Plan B in Alaska (oddly enough), California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington (as of guttmacher's report june 2009) without a prescription!