As the FDA prepared to lift the controversial age limit on Plan B and make it accessible on drug store shelves for all ages around the country, Secretary Sebelius overruled her own experts! According to a source, the secretary of HHS has never done this before and although she has the authority, this is unprecedented.
Secretary Sebelius' reasoning is that Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Plan B, didn't prove that younger girls, specifically age 11, could properly use the medication without guidance from an adult. Additionally, younger girls have significant "cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls." The fact that the HHS and the Secretary are focusing on this extremely young age group is bizarre. Less than 1% of 11 year olds are sexually active, where over half of adolescents have had sex before their 17th birthday.
This decision is illogical and unfounded. Physicians around the country agree that Plan B is incredibly safe and effective for all ages, helping to decrease the number of unintended pregnancies.
As a physician and women's health advocate, this is a perfect example of politics trumping science. Let Secretary Sebelius know you stand with the FDA, you stand up for increased access to Plan B for all women, and you oppose politics trumping science!