FDA accused of political posturing in morning-after pill controversy

[JURIST] Susan Wood, former director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Department of Women’s Health [official website] said Monday that the FDA’s refusal earlier this year to consider over-the-counter sales of Plan B [FDA backgrounder], also known as the morning-after pill, was based on political considerations rather than scientific facts. Wood, who resigned [JURIST report] in August in protest over a delay in the Plan B approval process, said that the “FDA was [not] acting independently” by refusing to approve the drug, though she is not sure exactly who was responsible. According to Wood, the decision was probably made by Lester Crawford [official profile], the then-FDA commissioner who resigned [JURIST report] in September. Wood also said that Andrew von Eschenbach [official profile], Crawford’s acting replacement as FDA commissioner, should approve the pill soon, and if he does not, “we'll know it isn't his decision.” Conservative activists have attacked Plan B, which they say will encourage promiscuity. Plan B is not an abortion pill, and is currently available with a prescription. Watch recorded video of Wood's panel presentation on Plan B Monday to the Center for American Progress. AP has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.