KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Plan B Ruling Raises Political, Practical Questions About Next Move

A federal judge's ruling on Friday that the Food and Drug Administration has to lift age restrictions on emergency contraception has set up choices for pharmacists, consumers and the Obama administration about whether this is the end of the controversy.

The Associated Press: Risk For Obama In Pursuing Legal Appeals After Judge Reverses Morning-After Pill Limits
President Barack Obama supports requiring girls younger than 17 to see a doctor before buying the morning-after pill. But fighting that battle in court comes with its own set of risks. A federal judge in New York on Friday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to lift age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception, ending the requirement that buyers show proof they’re 17 or older if they want to buy it without a prescription (Lederman and Neergaard, 4/6).

NPR: With Plan B Ruling, Judge Signs Off On Years Of Advocacy
Federal District Court Judge Edward Korman has been overseeing the case on and off since 2005. He found, among other things, that the Food and Drug Administration "has engaged in intolerable delays ... that could accurately be described as an administrative agency filibuster" in deciding whether to approve a 2001 citizens' petition to allow nonprescription sale of the drug (Rovner, 4/6).

Los Angeles Times: Teen Contraception Decision: Doctors Say Science Trumps Politics
Science trumped politics, but politics may still present problems for teens trying to purchase emergency contraception. "A lot of stuff is going to happen over the next 30 days," said Dr. Cora Breuner, a pediatric medicine specialist at the University of Washington (Mohan, 4/6).

NBC News: Pharmacists React To 'Morning-After Pill' Ruling
Up until now, pharmacists in Washington and Illinois had been assured by the courts that they could choose not to dispense Plan B if they so chose. A federal judge ruled in February of 2012 that Washington state couldn’t force pharmacies to sell Plan B. Then in September of the same year, an Illinois appellate court affirmed a lower court’s ruling that pharmacists could not be forced by the state to sell Plan B if they had religious objections (Carroll and Mapes, 4/6). 


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