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FDA lowers age for over-the-counter access to morning-after pill

The controversial emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step will be made available without a doctor’s prescription to girls aged 15 and 16, who currently need a doctor’s order, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday. The agency also said it would move the pill (levonorgestrel) from behind the pharmacy counter to drugstore shelves. That means that, on weekends and after work hours, older women will no longer need to seek a pharmacy with a working pharmacist to obtain the pill, which becomes less effective the longer after sexual intercourse it is taken. Under the new regime, girls under 15 will continue to need a doctor’s prescription and older females will still need to show proof of age. 

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