FDA Approves "Plan B"

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein
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It's a controversial drug, but one that will soon be readily available at area pharmacies. The Food and Drug Administration is now allowing the "Morning After Pill" known as "Plan B" to be sold over the counter.

Doctors like Christine Assia are no longer needed to get the Morning After Pill. The FDA says anyone over the age of 18 can buy it right off the shelves as long as they show a photo id.

But there's no one "really" regulating Plan B purchases. No records...No rules...And no one telling the sexually active "no" to using the product.

You worry about people using it as an easy form of I don't want to say abuse but an easy form of birth control that concerns me," says Rockford Memorial Hospital Doctor Christine Assia.

Doctors say that by the pill being "so" readily available, some may use it more than they should. This could cause some major health problems.

"It could cause menstrual irregularities could cause dysfunctional bleeding it may lead to essentially what it does is stop you from ovulating and it could lead to that in the long term and possibly decrease fertility in the long run," Dr. Assia says.

Several Rockford-area pharmacies currently carry Plan B as a prescription. Some say they'd rather keep it that way rather then selling it over the counter. They say this new way of providing the drug adds extra work and can be a conflict to their morals.

"This was put over the counter without I don't think any input from pharmacists and what this is gonna require from me is documenting and id'ing these women and counseling and making sure they're using it properly," says a Rockford pharmacist who prefers to remain anonymous.

Doctor Assia says as long as the pill is used only when necessary, it's availability will be a huge benefit to those trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Teens under 18 years of age still need a prescription to get the Morning After Pill. Pregnancy can be reduced up to 89-percent if Plan B is taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.


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