Plan B Approval is Not Assured

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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.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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