Generic Morning After Pill Gets Final Go-Ahead From Food and Drug Administration
by Steven Ertelt
August 31, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Food and Drug Administration has given the final go-ahead for Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. to sell its generic version of the morning after pill. That is the drug that can either prevent a pregnancy or can sometimes result in an abortion of a unique human being hours after conception has occurred.
Barr Pharmaceuticals, through its unit Duramed, is the maker of the current over-the-counter Plan B drug that abortion advocates have aggressively promoted.
Now, with the FDA approval, Watson will be able to sell its version, called Next Choice, at a reduced cost. Watson said U.S. sales of Plan B reached $135 million during the 12 months that ended on June 30.
The new generic of the so-called emergency contraceptive will be available in a 0.75 mg dosage.
Like the non-generic levonorgestrel drug, the generic Plan B pill will be available over the counter to all women aged 17 or older and by prescription to younger teenagers.
The FDA originally approved the morning after pill at the end of the Clinton administration in 1999 and, in 2006, it was approved for nonprescription use for women 18 and older.
The agency originally approved a generic for prescription-only purchases but couldn’t approve until now the nonprescription use because the marketing exclusively held by Duramed for nonprescription use did not expire until the end of this month.
In March, a federal court ordered the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its decision preventing minors from purchasing the morning after pill without a prescription.
At the time, Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, said the age restrictions need more enforcement, not less.
She also worries that a parent, older sibling or other relative or older friends could purchase the morning after pill for young teens, avoiding the requirement that they visit a doctor first before using the drug.
Wright said selling the morning after pill over the counter will make it easier for men who abuse young women to cover up their crimes.
"Any adult male who is having sex with a minor could walk into a pharmacy, buy the drug, and coax the girl into taking the pill," she said.
Wright also said that Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates were given certain restrictions by the FDA on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, but that those haven’t been followed.
"Those restrictions have never been followed, women have died, yet no one has been punished nor the drug approval pulled, said Wright.
The morning after pill, and the sales market for it, has been hailed by abortion advocates as a method of reducing abortions, but stats in the United States and elsewhere prove otherwise.
Recent news out of England dispels the long-held myth that promoting contraception and birth control reduces the number of abortions.
According to the London Daily Mail teen pregnancy rates in England are now higher than they were in 1995 and pregnancies among girls under 16, below the age of sexual consent, are also at the highest level since 1998.
That is despite the British government spending £300 million (that’s over $454 million for those of us in the United States) in an attempt to cut the number of teen pregnancies in half by promoting comprehensive sexual education.
The British teen abortion rate, according to the newspaper, has also climbed steadily since 1999 when the government released its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.
Last year, officials in Sweden reported that the number of abortions increased 17 percent in Sweden from 2000 to 2007 despite sales of the morning after pill increasing during the same time period.
The morning after pill became a drug that could be sold over the counter in Sweden in 2001. In that time, sales of the drug tripled in the nation’s capital and doubled nationwide.
Still, new national figures show 37,205 abortions in Sweden in 2007, up approximately 17 percent from the 30,980 done in 2000. In Stockholm, 10,259 abortions were done — a 6.9 percent increase in just one year from the 2006 figures.
Meanwhile, last year the number of abortions in Scotland rose for the third straight year despite a heavy push for women to use the morning after pill.
Abortions in Scotland rose four percent according to a report from the British National Health Service and now number 13,703. That increase came after NHS reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.
Not only is the increased promoting of the morning after pill resulting in more abortions, not less, the number of women having repeat abortions is increasing as well.
NHS reports more than a quarter of women, 26.3 percent, who had an abortion in Scotland last year had at least one prior abortion before that. That’s 3,600 women who had one or more abortions prior, according to the government’s statistics.
Finally, a report from Planned Parenthood of Western Washington shows abortions are on the rise in Washington state even though it participated in Washington states Take Charge pilot program.
Take Charge is a Medicaid section 1115 Waiver program initiated in 2001 to provide free contraceptives to low-income women not already covered under Medicaid. It was originally funded for five years in 2001, then extended for three more years, and comes up for renewal in 2009.
Yet the PPWW annual report indicates abortions rose 16 percent from 7,790 in 2006 to 9,059 in 2007.
The failure of birth control, the morning after pill, and contraception to lower the number of abortions is no surprise to Dr. Joseph Stanford, associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
He says studies he and fellow researchers have done show a lower effectiveness rate than the 89 percent that Plan B maker Barr Laboratories claims.
"We did more a precise meta-analysis that shows it’s effective only 72 percent of the time, and even that number is optimistic," he indicated.
He said studies from Europe, China and the United States show that the morning after pill does not reduce abortions.
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