FDA: Make Science-Based Decisions on Women's Health
Last December, the Obama administration prevented the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from making emergency contraception drug Plan B available over-the-counter, despite the FDA experts' scientific determination that the product was safe and effective for over-the-counter use. The move was unprecedented: never before had the Department of Health and Human Services overruled an FDA drug decision. The law requires the agency to make decisions based solely on the best available scientific information.
Now that we are past the election, it is time for the administration to renew its commitment to scientific integrity. As the anniversary of this flawed decision approaches, please urge Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to allow the FDA to revisit its decision to ensure that the agency is able to use the best available science to make all drug approval decisions.
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Women's health, including the ability to determine the timing and spacing of pregnancies, should not be subject to politics. After more than a decade of medical research, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined emergency contraception (EC) is effective and safe enough for access without restriction. Doctors recognize EC as an important component of reproductive health care, allowing women a second chance to prevent pregnancy when a primary contraceptive method of fails. In December 2011, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA and restricted access to EC. We urge Secretary Sebelius to revisit the evidence and remove the restrictions, placing women's reproductive health above politics.