You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Health

  • Taking hospitals to task
    Delbert Lindley doesn’t mess around with his health. The 77-year-old Fort Wayne man keeps meticulous records.
  • CDC urges all adults not to skip flu vaccine
    It’s time for flu vaccine again, and while it’s important for the whole family, this year health officials have some different advice for different ages: Certain kids should opt for the ouchless nasal spray.
  • Artificial sweeteners linked with spikes in blood sugar
    Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Advertisement

Morning-after pill goes over the counter

– The government is moving the morning-after pill over the counter but only those 15 and older can buy it – an attempt to find middle ground just days before a court-imposed deadline to lift all age restrictions on the emergency contraceptive.

Today, Plan B One-Step is sold behind pharmacy counters, and buyers must prove they’re 17 or older to buy it without a prescription. Tuesday’s decision by the Food and Drug Administration lowers the age limit and will allow the pill to sit on drugstore shelves next to spermicides or other women’s health products and condoms – but anyone who wants to buy it must prove their age at the cash register.

Some contraceptive advocates called the move promising.

“This decision is a step in the right direction for increased access to a product that is a safe and effective method of preventing unintended pregnancies,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

But last month, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York blasted the Obama administration for imposing the age-17 limit, saying it had let election-year politics trump science and was making it hard for women of any age to obtain the emergency contraception in time.

The women’s group that sued over the age limits said Tuesday’s action is not enough, and it will continue the court fight.

Lowering the age limit “may reduce delays for some young women but it does nothing to address the significant barriers that far too many women of all ages will still find if they arrive at the drugstore without identification,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The FDA said the Plan B One-Step will be packaged with a product code that prompts the cashier to verify a customer’s age. Anyone who can’t provide such proof as a driver’s license, birth certificate or passport wouldn’t be allowed to complete the purchase.

Half the nation’s pregnancies every year are unintended, and doctors’ groups say more access to pills could cut those numbers. The pills contain higher doses of regular contraceptives, and if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent.

Advertisement