Target: Kathleen Uhl, Acting Director of the Office of Generic Drugs for the FDA
Goal: Commend the FDA for making generic versions of emergency contraception available over the counter
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it will now make generic versions of emergency contraception available over the counter for women of all ages. This important move provides cheaper emergency contraception options to women under 17 who previously would have needed a prescription, and eases restrictions that were solely based on legal relationships between the FDA and big pharmaceutical companies.
There is nothing to suggest that generic brands of emergency contraception are any less effective than the current over-the-counter brand, Plan B One-Step. The main reason generic brands have been restricted to behind the counter is because Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Plan B, struck a legal deal with the FDA that gave it three years of exclusive rights to sell its brand-name medication over the counter with no age restrictions. This arrangement made it much easier for Teva to drive up the price of Plan B, and forced young women who could not get a prescription to pay that premium price.
While this latest move by the FDA doesn’t solve all the misunderstandings over where policy actually stands, it is a major step for ensuring women, especially those with very little disposable income, have access to more competitively priced emergency contraception. Thank Kathleen Uhl, Acting Director of the Office of Generic Drugs for the FDA, for taking this important step for women’s reproductive rights.
Dear Dr. Kathleen Uhl,
Recently you issued a letter on behalf of the FDA announcing the expansion of access to generic forms of Plan B. This is a long awaited and welcome move, as it will give women of all ages the option to choose from cheaper forms of emergency contraception. There is nothing to suggest that generic forms of Plan B are any less effective or safe, and your announcement will help refute that notion.
I am writing to thank you for your announcement on behalf of the FDA, and for helping expand women’s access to contraception. This is an important decision for women’s reproductive rights, and is a huge step in ensuring women have the best resources available to them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elise Amendola via ThinkProgress