Plan B Approval is Not Assured

| Fri Aug. 4, 2006 1:57 PM EDT

The Chicago Tribune puts the FDA's seeming about-turn on Plan B in (cautionary) context:

FDA approval for over-the-counter sales is not assured. One potential hurdle: the FDA wants the company to ensure that pharmacies won't sell the pill over the counter to girls younger than age 18. But isn't that the pharmacies' responsibility? Some advocates worry that such an onerous requirement could be a loophole that would allow the FDA to deny permission for over-the-counter sales.

Dr. Susan Wood, former director of the FDA's Office of Women's Health, resigned in protest last August after the last Plan B delay. She said she was "somewhat encouraged" by Monday's announcement. But she also warned: "I feel they're making it appear they're moving forward. But until we actually see a decision, we can't count on that." Yes, some skepticism is warranted here. Unfortunately, politics may yet trump science again.