Skip to comments.Sales Soaring for Morning-After Pill
Posted on 08/25/2007 7:17:57 PM PDT by Lorianne
Barr began distributing the over-the-counter version of the morning-after pill last November, and all national pharmacy chains now stock it. Barr projects that sales of Plan B will total about $80 million for 2007, almost double the total for 2006 and up eightfold from 2004, when Barr acquired the product as a prescription-only drug.
In the year since it was approved for over-the-counter sales, the morning-after pill has become a huge commercial success for its manufacturer, but its popularity and solid safety record haven't deterred critics from seeking to overturn the milestone ruling. The pill, marketed by Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. as Plan B, was the focus of bitter debate for three years. After repeated delays, the Food and Drug Administration declared on Aug. 24, 2006 that customers 18 and older should be able to buy it in pharmacies without a prescription.
Barr began distributing the over-the-counter version last November, and all national pharmacy chains now stock it. The company projects that sales of Plan B will total about $80 million for 2007, almost double the total for 2006 and up eightfold from 2004, when Barr acquired the product as a prescription-only drug.
"Overall, we've been very pleased with the acceptance," said Barr spokeswoman Carol Cox. "The product may not be for everyone -- but if you find yourself in a position to need it, absolutely it should be available."
Despite the booming sales, and evidence that the pill is safe if properly used, critics remain active.
A coalition of conservative groups, including the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington seeking to reverse the FDA ruling. The groups contend that the FDA acted unwisely under political pressure and lacked authority to approve the same drug for both over-the-counter and prescription-only distribution based on the user's age.
"Barr may be making a healthy profit, but women are paying the price," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, who believes Plan B is less effective that its backers assert.
Barr says Plan B, a high dose of a drug found in many regular birth-control pills, can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
Since the FDA ruling, there have been extensive efforts by advocacy groups and some politicians to ensure widespread availability of Plan B.
Several states have enacted laws to improve rape survivors' access to the medication in hospital emergency rooms; a similar bill has been introduced in Congress.
Also in Congress, supporters of Plan B have introduced legislation to ensure that women serving in the U.S. military overseas have access to the pills at their bases. The measure's backers say servicewomen and military doctors often can't obtain the medication when it's needed.
Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and their allies have campaigned to educate women about Plan B and pressure national pharmacy chains to make it readily available. Overall, activists are pleased with the chains' response, but they say women continue to encounter pharmacies which refuse to stock Plan B and individual employees who, for reasons of conscience, refuse to sell it. "Many women still don't know it's available," said NARAL's president, Nancy Keenan. "There's a lot of education that needs to be done."
During three years of FDA deliberations over Plan B, many claims were made about it. Supporters said it would reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions; opponents said it would fuel teenage promiscuity because girls under 18 could obtain it from an older person -- male or female -- buying it over-the-counter on their behalf.
Thus far, there have been several studies casting doubt on all these claims -- although activists of varying views say there is a shortage of authoritative research. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, believes Plan B will contribute to a measurable drop in unintended pregnancies once accurate information about it spreads widely among American women.
"We're talking about very mainstream health care here," Richards said. "And yet there is a fringe group of folks in this country who seem determined to prevent women from getting emergency contraception."
Some critics -- including Roman Catholic leaders -- consider the pill tantamount to abortion, although Barr says it has no effect on women who are already pregnant. Catholic bishops in Connecticut protested in May when the state legislature passed a bill requiring all hospitals, including Catholic facilities, to offer Plan B to rape victims
Deirdre McQuade, planning director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, also expressed concern about pharmacy employees, saying they should have the right to refuse to sell Plan B for reasons of conscience. Some states have passed laws to protect this right of refusal.
"Pregnancy is not a disease," McQuade said. "There is no absolute duty to dispense a non-therapeutic drug, but there is a basic civil right of conscience."
Lotta sluts out there these days. Almost makes me wish I were single again.....ALMOST. ;)
I feel sorry for all the abortionists who will be put out of work by the morning after pill. /sarc
IMO while I don’t like Plan B, if anyone is responsible for aborting a baby, it (is) should be the woman. It rests all on her shoulders now because she’s the one doing it all now. Don’t have to make a huge, government funded death industry like PP and the like anymore.
Wonder why the MSM didn’t make this typical title for the story:
Sales Soaring for Morning-After Pill; Abortionists Hardest Hit
or to be even more PC
Sales Soaring for Morning-After Pill; Women and Minority Abortionists Hardest Hit
stupid tramps promoting the culture of death.
Islamofacists and Liberals seem to only differ in methodology in their desire to kill the innocent.
The morning after pill is not an abortion. It prevents pregnancy. But I think it should require a doctor’s Rx because there are some risks and some women will be flip about it.
Wrong. The morning after pill is another form of abortion.
The pill can work in 3 ways. One of the actions is
preventing implantation of an embryo which
In my opinion the morning-after pill is not an abortion because it prevents pregnancy in the first place.
The morning-after pill is taken within 72 hrs of unprotected sex and prevents pregnancy.
Still, I’m afraid women will abuse the power and be careless. It also does not prevent sexually transmitted disease. There are some potential side effects, too, and that’s why I think it should require a doctor’s Rx.
While most doctors do not consider that an abortion, anti-abortion-rights doctors do, such as David Hager, a gynecologist from Lexington, Ky., who wont prescribe Plan B for his own patients.
One of the mechanisms of action can be to inhibit implantation, which means that it may act as an abortifacient, says Dr. Hager. He says abortifacient means it causes an abortion and that this medication may act to inhibit implantation.
However, Associate Executive Director Dr. Gene Rudd of the Christian Medical Association, the nation’s largest faith- based association of doctors, said in a press release that the FDAs decision gives a politically motivated definition of pregnancy and violates the crucial medical principle of informed consent.
Many women in America would not take it if they realized that it can have the effect of preventing a fertilized ovum—a living human embryo—from implanting in the womb and having a chance to be born, said Dr. Rudd.
Pro-life spokesmen have pointed out that not only does Plan-B act as an emergency contraceptive by preventing the release of an egg for fertilization, but that it causes the abortion of an already conceived human embryo by making the wombs nourishing endometrium hostile to implantation.
Pick your battles wisely.
What's that mean?
"Plan B" aborts babies.
If we don’t draw the line where it needs to be drawn, at conception, no one will. And confusion will continue to reign.
I don’t know why you would think I didn’t get your point. I got it perfectly.