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Dr. Coburn Condemns FDA Decision To Allow OTC Sales of Plan B

Location: Washington, DC

Dr. Coburn Condemns FDA Decision To Allow OTC Sales of Plan B

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies, released the following statement today regarding the Food and Drug Administration's decision to allow over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription sales of Plan B.

"Today's decision by the FDA to allow over-the-counter-sales of Plan B jeopardizes the long-term health interests of women. Never before has the FDA approved a medicine for over-the-counter sales when a lower dose of the same drug requires a prescription. Science and standard health care practices support the policy that the morning after pill should be available by prescription only. FDA policies should be based on risk avoidance rather than risk reduction. This decision has nothing to do with science or FDA rules but has everything to do with politics," Dr. Coburn said.

The FDA already requires standard oral contraceptives be administered through prescription only. The morning after pill contains high doses of the same hormones contained in standard oral contraceptives. According to Planned Parenthood's own Web site, taking the "morning after pill" can be equivalent to taking as many as 40 progesterone birth control pills.

"Exposing women to the high dose hormones in Plan B without the guidance of a physician will put them at risk. This decision also greatly increases the risks to teens who will likely discover obtaining morning after pills over the counter is as easy as obtaining alcohol," Dr. Coburn said.

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