More reproductive rights news to follow up “The Daughter Effect“:
Tony Pugh of Knight Ridder reports that Rep. Henry Waxman (da man!) discovered the Bush Administration is not being honest (ah-HEM!) about its morning-after-pill policies.
Internal documents made public Thursday have raised new questions about the federal government’s continued refusal to allow over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraceptive known as “Plan B.”
The documents, obtained by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., show that in February 2004, policymakers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found no problem in allowing the so-called morning-after pill to be sold without a prescription to women of all ages.
Yet 18 months later, former FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford cited concerns about selling the drug to younger teens as a major reason for blocking the move.
The move prompted outrage from women’s rights groups and Democratic lawmakers, who claimed that the agency was blocking the measure for political reasons despite scientific evidence that showed nonprescription sales of the pill were safe.
One FDA official opposed to the decision resigned.
Here’s the juicy part:
Barr Laboratories, the maker of Plan B, originally sought to sell the drug over-the-counter to women of all ages. Only after meeting resistance from FDA officials and conservative organizations did the company opt to require prescriptions for women ages 16 and under.
The FDA records indicate that the change was engineered by FDA senior officials who worked behind the scenes against the company while appearing to remain neutral.
After mid-level FDA officials made their recommendation to approve Plan B sales without prescriptions, their superiors told them that FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan and other senior managers at the agency “cannot support the non-prescription switch of Plan B,” according to the agency’s records.
By that time, the FDA already had begun urging Barr to seek over-the-counter sales for those 17 and older.
Barr eventually did so, but the request was tabled in August 2005 by Crawford, who claimed the move raised “difficult and novel policy and regulatory issues.” The FDA hasn’t yet decided the matter, and Plan B remains available by prescription only.
However, seven states allow Plan B to be sold over-the-counter. These are Washington, California, Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Maine and New Hampshire.
What I want to know is. when is it going to be the morning after for the bozo Bush appointees in the FDA responsible for this nonsense?