FDA: Morning-after pill to move over-the-counter

This undated image made available by Teva Women's Health shows the packaging for their Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) tablet, one of the brands known as the "morning-after pill."  In a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration, a federal judge ruled Friday that age restrictions on over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill are "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable" and must end within 30 days. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York means consumers of any age could buy emergency contraception without a prescription _ instead of women first having to prove they're 17 or older, as they do today. And it could allow Plan B One-Step to move out from behind pharmacy counters to the store counters.  (AP Photo/Teva Women's Health)
This undated image made available by Teva Women's Health shows the packaging for their Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) tablet, one of the brands known as the "morning-after pill." In a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration, a federal judge ruled Friday that age restrictions on over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill are "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable" and must end within 30 days. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York means consumers of any age could buy emergency contraception without a prescription _ instead of women first having to prove they're 17 or older, as they do today. And it could allow Plan B One-Step to move out from behind pharmacy counters to the store counters. (AP Photo/Teva Women's Health)

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Plan B morning-after pill is moving over-the-counter, a decision announced by the Food and Drug Administration just days before a court-imposed deadline.

Tuesday, the FDA lowered to 15 the age at which girls and women can buy the emergency contraceptive without a prescription – and said it no longer has to be kept behind pharmacy counters.

Instead, the pill can sit on drugstore shelves just like condoms, but that buyers would have to prove their age at the cash register.

Earlier this month, a federal judge had ruled there should be no age restrictions and gave the FDA 30 days to act. The FDA said its latest decision was independent of the court case.

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