22 April 2003
The manufacturer of Plan B, a so-called "morning-after" pill designed for after-the-fact birth control, has requested the FDA to take the drug off prescription status.
I don't have a problem with the concept generally please note, this is not RU-486, the so-called "abortion pill", or a variant (486DX?) thereof but one question gnaws at me: Plan B is, in essence, a standard contraceptive pill packing a very high dosage. Routine doses are still on prescription. (As George Carlin grumbled back in 1971, "You still need a note to get laid.") There's something slightly weird about having to get a prescription for a standard dose of something while the blockbuster dose is right there on the shelf next to the Pepto-Bismol. If the FDA approves the change for Plan B, shouldn't all contraceptives of this sort come off prescription? If your answer is something like "Good Lord, nine-year-old girls would be buying them," you can see why I might be concerned.
I hasten to add that my interest in this is purely academic: my children are grown and can make their own decisions, and, well, it's not like I'm going to be putting anyone in any particular jeopardy.