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.
I got both of your points. I appreciate the exchange.
IMO, abortion is abortion no matter when or how or why it occurs. The morning after pill is an abortifacient (sp).
I get what you’re saying regarding the drug reference - cigs, caffeine, alcohol being the same, etc. I know my kids come home from school and say I use drugs cos I drink beer every now and then or smoke (smoked), etc. I just don’t think it applies here. I also don’t think it applies to the drug culture but that’s another discussion.
The morning after pill is just that: after. Have sex, take a pill afterwards to kill life.
I get what Eternal Vigilence is saying too. Where *do* we draw the line.
I’d like to see the abortion pill replace Planned Parenthood and take them out of business. That’s the only “positive” I see regarding this pill. Shut down PP and stop our tax dollars from supporting this murder mill and end PP as a lobby. I wonder if the abortion pill will be covered by insurance? I know some who use birth control pills and those aren’t covered by their insurance. However, it’s like everything else in our culture, becoming acceptable and normal.
I think about this stuff and have my opinions.
I think it’s a sorry state when we care more about animals or plants or anything else other than human beings. I’ve read and heard so much about this Vick crime and think we’re killing babies and that’s legal but this guy may go to jail for dogs. He’s beng vilified more than child abusers are in the media.
We have to draw the line somewhere and personally I think the line was crossed decades ago when abortion became legalized murder.
I get your point here. I was a little confused with the “pick your battles” thing but I do get it. I think I do anyway.
I’m against the birth control pill too, so that may be another issue. The realist in me says use birth control, pills/condoms/other stuff to prevent pregnancy if you’re gonna have sex and not want a baby. The *pill* changes stuff physically. Maybe it’s my own aversion to messin’ with my body. My mother told me when I was a teen that there was no reason to get pregnant should I have sex and I tell my kids the same. Not condoning it but being realistic about it all. The same “don’t have sex before marriage but if you do, and don’t want to get pregnant, then use protection.” And if you end up pregnant, it’s not the end of the world, a baby is a miracle.
My husband and I were talking about this recently. He said something interesting (to me anyway). Back when he was in high school and college, he wouldn’t have had a problem with taking me (well not me, any gf) for an abortion. He was different back then and he admits to it. He also never have a prob with using condoms, anything, for birth control, even now being married 18 years. I was way out of that league growing up and even in college, lol. Sex wasn’t happening back then, I was strict with that when dating. Anyway, we talked about the morning after pill and he believes is abortion now but said he wouldn’t have 20 yrs ago.
How does anyone know that there even IS an implanted embryo, the day after???? The odds are against it. I don’t know the actual statistics, there’s no way anyone could ever know, but the majority of the women who use Plan B were never even pregnant.
Life begins at conception, imo and it’s erring on the side of God and life, IMO.
Why are the odds against it?
The same can be said then for the majority who do use Plan B are pregnant.
Plan B is abortion in another form. Since, if as you say, we don’t know, then there’s the possibility that life has begun.
And if you don’t know the stats, then how can you say the majority of women who use Plan B were never pregnant to begin with?
A unique human being, with unique DNA, is created when the sperm and the egg join. Cells begin to divide, and the course of a human life begins that, barring accident, violence, or sickness, will continue through many changes taking place over seventy, eighty or ninety years of natural life.
Now, some of these embryos will perish before they ever implant in the uterus.
But "Plan B" assures that this will be the case.
It's an abortifacient. Period.
And just because it isn't in every case doesn't justify it.
And the men who have sex with them.
No one knows the stats. I didn’t say *I* did. But the majority of women who have sex aren’t pregnant the next day. Not every sex act results in pregnancy.
I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, I have my own views on abortion and I don’t expect anyone to change mine. And Extremist, thanks for the biology lesson but I already knew how conception occurs :)
Exactly. All this does is continue to promote that men have no responsibiltiy in sexual reproduction.
I find it disturbing that so many women would mess with their bodies in such a drastic way ... when conception may not have occured .... rather than requiring that their male partners take an active part in preventing pregnancy.
The marketers of this product have done an excellent job of convincing women to harm themselves ... and pay lots of money for the priveledge!
“Yes, but in this situation actual conception is not always, or even in the majority of instances, the case. There’s your confusion right there.”
The crux of the matter.
Plan B consists of two high-dose contraceptive pills that either interfere with ovulation or fertilization, or prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. It has no effect once an egg is firmly implanted in the uterine wall.Clearly, out of that 7-8%, there is no guarantee that the result will be that Plan B disposes of a fertilized egg. It might be preventing the egg from showing up at all, or preventing the fertilization of said egg.
On average, if 100 women have unprotected intercourse once during the second or third week of their cycle, eight will become pregnant. Taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, Plan B reduces the average risk of pregnancy among users from about 8 percent to about 1 percentan 89 percent reduction.
Unfortunately, you're doing exactly what you say you don't want to do: Clouding the real issue.
America's founding paragraph:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men..."
I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind either. I like the discussion and like learning what others think even when I don’t agree. I think abortion, all forms, is a clear cut issue. It’s murder no matter when it happens. JMO.
In time many of these “women” will die from excessive bleeding and other complications.