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PRESS STATEMENT: Reproductive Health Professionals Encourage FDA to Approve Plan B for Women of All Ages



Dr. Beth Jordan, Medical Director
Wayne C. Shields, President and CEO
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP)


For Immediate Release
July 31,  2006

Contact:
Ann McCall
(202) 466-3825
communications@arhp.org 

Washington, DCJuly 31, 2006—Beth Jordan, MD, medical director of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and Wayne Shields, ARHP president and CEO, released the following statement in response to an announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will reconsider over-the-counter status with Barr Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the emergency contraceptive product, Plan B®.

“The members, board, and staff of ARHP are waiting to see what the FDA really means by their announcement to work with Barr Pharmaceuticals to make Plan B available over the counter to women eighteen years or older.

ARHP opposes any age restrictions on the availability of emergency contraception over the counter. Unfortunately, the FDA boasts a long history of delaying tactics with Plan B. Politics and ideology have too often interfered with evidence-based science at the agency, particularly on issues related to reproductive health. Due to our past experience with FDA on this issue, we will continue to monitor the situation to see whether this is yet another delaying tactic or is an authentic change of heart.

Plan B is safe, easy to use, and has the potential to prevent thousands of unintended pregnancies each year. Timely access to all women of reproductive age who might benefit is vital. There is no scientific evidence that warrants age restrictions for access to this drug and we are deeply concerned about the possibility of refusing over-the-counter access for women younger than 18.

ARHP encourages the FDA to rely on evidence-based science—not politics—when making decisions that affect the health and well-being of millions of American women. We call on the FDA to stop any further delays and approve Plan B for over-the-counter status for women of all ages.”



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The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is the leading source for trusted medical education and information on reproductive and sexual health. ARHP educates health care providers, informs consumers, and helps shape public policy. ARHP is a non-profit membership association composed of highly qualified and committed experts in reproductive health. ARHP members are health professionals in clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy and they include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, researchers, educators, pharmacists, and other professionals in reproductive health. To learn more, visit: http://www.arhp.org.