Pro-Life Group Calls for Withdrawal of Von Eschenbach FDA Nomination

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 15, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Calls for Withdrawal of Von Eschenbach FDA Nomination Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 15, 2006

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life women’s group is calling for the withdrawal of the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Concerned Women for America says he is pandering to political activists and a drug company by approving over the counter sales of the morning after pill.

Von Eschenbach is pushing through a drug approval that CWA says is "unprecedented in FDA’s history" and ignores potential dangers to women’s health.

"The FDA would be overstepping its precedent and authority to make Plan B available nonprescription,” CWA president Wendy Wright said in a statement obtained.

The Food and Drug Administration reached a deal with Barr Laboratories last week to allow the drug’s maker to sell the pills over the counter without a prescription. When the deal is finalized, women over 18 will be allowed to purchase the drug but teenagers under 18 will still need a doctor’s visit.

Wright worries that teens will be able to get the drug easily from someone over 18 without a necessary prescription from a physician.

"Under von Eschenbach’s proposal, an 18 year-old could buy the drug and give it to an adolescent, even though the drug owner, Barr, has not adequately tested it to ensure it can be safely used by adolescents," Wright said.

She explained that the FDA is putting forward a contradictory policy that allows over the counter sales of the morning after pill but requires prescriptions for birth control.

“It defies common sense to allow easy access to a high-dose drug, based on the age of the person who buys it, when a low dose for anyone requires medical oversight," she explained.

In part because of the process von Eschenbach has used to rush through approval of the morning after pill following a long FDA delay while it studied regulator issues, Wright said the nomination should be pulled.

“It is deplorable that the head of the FDA would put his career ambitions and a drug company’s interests above women’s health,” Wright added.

“Americans need an FDA Commissioner who cares about women’s health," Wright said. "Von Eschenbach has shown he is willing to disregard standard safety guidelines for drug approvals."

Wright explained that women need a doctor’s visit to get the drug because of the potential health problems they could encounter when using the Plan B drugs.

“CWA provided legal and regulatory evidence that the FDA does not have the authority to do what it is proposing and medical evidence that any dose of the drug requires medical oversight to protect women’s health," she said.

"The drug is known to cause serious complications such as blood clots and stroke," Wright said. "Medical oversight also provides women with critical health care to test and treat other known complications associated with unprotected sex."

Related web sites:
Concerned Women for America –