EC in the News
- European Medicines Agency reverses its decision on changing the LNG EC label to say that the product does not work in heavier women; NorLevo label will revert back to its original version. Read the EMA decision here.
- US Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby; family-owned corporations are not required to pay for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
- The US Supreme Court hears arguments in the Hobby Lobby case, in which a private corporation seeks to avoid the requirement to cover all methods of contraception under the Affordable Care Act (with a specific emphasis on EC and IUDs). Read NPR's coverage here.
- FDA announces that generic manufacturers of LNG EC may apply for full OTC status; the box will say that the product will be for women ages 17 and up, but proof of age will not be required to purchase the product. Read the FDA letter.
- European regulatory authorities approve a label change for NorLevo 1.5, stating that LNG EC doesn't work for women over 176 pounds, and removing the language that LNG EC can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Read the new label and coverage of the change in Mother Jones.
- FDA approves Plan B One-Step for unrestricted sale. Read the FDA news release.
- Federal Judge Korman grants Obama Administration's plan to make Plan B One-Step available OTC. Read the memo here.
- Obama administration drops its appeal to Korman ruling; Plan B One-Step to be made available without restrictions in the US. Read the DOJ letter here and the letter from HHS here.
- 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals orders that FDA must comply with Judge Korman's ruling to make 2-pill formulation of LNG EC available without restriction; grants stay regarding 1-pill formulation. Read the ruling here.
- FDA approves Teva's amended application making Plan B One-Step available on the shelf for women ages 15 and older. Read the FDA and Teva press releases.
- U.S. federal judge rules that the FDA must made LNG EC over the counter for all ages. Read the ruling here.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics issues a policy statement supporting use of EC among adolescents, including advance provision.
- FDA approves Watson's generic version of Plan B One-Step, called Next Choice One Dose
- New York Times publishes an article explaining that EC does not block implantation of a fertilized egg.
- Bill to imprison women for using EC is blocked in Honduran Congress
- NARAL Pro-Choice New York presents "Plan B One-Step: Past, Present and Future" video
- Pharmacists may present a barrier to teen girls accessing EC, through misinformation or failure to stock the medication.
- U.S. study finds that teen can safely use EC without a prescription; there's no reason to keep it behind the counter.
- Honduras Supreme Court upholds absolute ban on emergency contraception.
- Center for Reproductive Rights re-opens lawsuit against FDA to remove unnecessary age restrictions on EC.
- EC experts address President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy on the Plan B decision. Watch the webcast or read the testimony.
- Teva's application for full, all-ages, OTC status for Plan B One-Step is rejected, based on a directive from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
- UK Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare issues new guidance on EC.
- FDA warns that a fraudulent, unapproved EC pill might be in circulation in the U.S.
- Institute of Medicine recommends inclusion of contraceptives as a preventive service, available with no co-pay. Read the report here.
- EC is approved in Japan for the first time.
- NorLevo now available over-the-counter in Ireland.
- Teva files request with FDA to remove the age restriction on Plan B One-Step.
- Watson Pharmaceuticals launches ella (ulipristal acetate) in the United States.
- Center for Reproductive Rights files suit against FDA for failure to respond to court order about expanding access to EC.
- Watson and HRA Pharma to seek approval for ulipristal acetate in Canada.
- FDA approves ella for sale in the U.S.
- FDA advisory committee recommends approval of ulipristal acetate. Read the press release from HRA Pharma.
- FDA advisory committee meeting to meet in June to discuss new drug application for ulipristal acetate.
- U.S. Department of Defense adds emergency contraception to list of medications available to servicemembers overseas.
- New York City Department of Health publishes report on teen pregnancy; fewer than half of teens have heard of emergency contraception.
- Watson Pharmaceuticals partners with HRA Pharma to bring ellaOne to the U.S. market.
- Two new studies examine the effectiveness of ulipristal acetate. Read them here and here.
- Senators Al Franken and Olympia Snowe sponsor a bill that would require military facilities to provide EC to servicewomen.
- Study suggests that Cox-2 inhibitors may be a safe, effective alternative form of EC.
- Cochrane Review evaluates the safety and efficacy of repeat use of peri-coital hormonal contraceptives.
- Ban on emergency contraception takes effect in Honduras.
- ellaOne launches in 3 countries in Europe; product roll-out will continue gradually
- 9th Circuit Court rules that pharmacists in Washington State may not refuse to provide Plan B due to religious beliefs.
- FDA approves one-step version of Plan B; to be available at the end of July by prescription for all women and OTC for women 17 and under. Read Teva's press release
- FDA approves generic prescription-only version of Plan B for women ages 17 and under
- European Commission grants marketing authorization to HRA Pharma for new emergency contraceptive
- The FDA approves Plan B OTC for consumers 17 and older
- Federal judge rules that the FDA must make Plan B available OTC to consumers 17 and older within 30 days and urges the agency to consider removing all age restrictions. Read the full text of the decision here.
- Next-generation emergency contraceptive is one step closer to market in Europe
- Access to EC in the U.S. has signficantly improved since OTC change
- Canada recommends EC for full OTC status
- Washington State morning-after pill rule remains suspended
- Injunction upheld against Washington law requiring pharmacists to provide emergency contraception
- Montana pharmacy board takes no action in birth-control case, citing lack of law
- Plan B nears OTC status in Canada
- Chilean officials convoke march for emergency contraception
- Chile bans emergency contraceptive pill from nation's public health system
- Illinois Supreme Court hears case about pharmacist refusal to dispense Plan B
- Wisconsin emergency rooms required to provide information and access to EC
- Federal judge dismisses lawsuit seeking to halt sales of Plan B
- Oregon implements new law requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to female victims of sexual assault
- Calls to lift restrictions on EC in Ireland
- Judge again rules pharmacists can deny morning-after pill in Washington State
- Missouri lawmakers consider bill that would reclassify emergency contraception as an abortifacient
- Site maps stores that don't sell Plan B
- FDA is considering the official creation of a new "behind the counter" class of drugs which would include Plan B.
- Sales of Plan B are soaring, yet conservative groups attempt to reverse OTC status.
- Mergerwatch releases its Pharmacy Refusal Toolkit, “Protecting Women’s Rights at the Pharmacy Counter: Advocacy Strategies from States and Localities.”
- Use of Plan B has surged in the United States since the over-the-counter switch; so has controversy.
- Canadian government approves one-step dosing regimen for Plan B
- National Women's Law Center releases publication on pharmacy refusal laws, policies and practices.
- New York State to cover Plan B under Medicaid.
This site wins the Outstanding Achievement Award for 2007 from OBGYN.net, for the site's unique design and significant contribution to the women's health community.
- HRA Pharma commences US phase III trial of second-generation emergency contraceptive.
- This site wins the 2006 Health Improvement Institute's Aesculapius Award, their top honor for a website or public service announcement that provides health information to the public.
- Barr Launches Plan B OTC/Rx Dual-Label Product; Awarded 3 Years New Product Exclusivity
Premiere Emergency Contraception Website Ramps Up to Fill Education Void as 'Morning After Pill' Goes Over-the-Counter.
Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report provides comprehensive coverage of the FDA decision and a summary of media coverage.
On August 24th, 2006, Plan B was approved by the FDA for nonprescription sale to those 18 and older in the United States.
"Conscientious objection" legislation, which would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill certain prescriptions, including those for emergency contraception, was introduced in about half of state legislatures this year; none were approved.
Research shows that physicians in clinics with religious affiliations are less likely to prescribe EC than those in nonreligious-affiliated clinics.
Barr cannot require pharmacies to abide by age restrictions for nonprescription sales of Plan B, CEO says.
- Barr Laboratories to resubmit application for nonprescription sales of Plan B; FDA expected to act quickly.
- Kaiser summarizes more national editorials and opinion pieces on nonprescription sales of Plan B here.
- Mother Jones offers an updated timeline of the FDA decisions on Plan B (and other events in its political life in the US).
- FDA scientist was told nonprescription Plan B application would be rejected 'to appease the administration's constituents,' deposition says.
- Barr Laboratories, FDA to meet on Tuesday, August 8th in Washington, D.C. to discuss application for nonprescription sales of Plan B. Kaiser provides a summary of national editorials and opinion pieces responding to the news that the FDA is reconsidering nonprescription sales of Plan B.
- FDA chief calls for meeting with Barr subsidiary, says age restriction in nonprescription Plan B application should be raised to 18. The sudden renewal of FDA interest in the Plan B application for over-the-counter status comes on the eve of von Eschenbach's confirmation hearings. At the hearings, Senate Democrats question new FDA requirements for nonprescription Plan B application.
- Felicia Stewart, a fierce advocate for expanded access to emergency contraception, died of cancer on April 13th. This site contains accounts of her advocacy for women's health and fond memories from those who knew her.
- Wisconsin Attorney General seeks to join CRR as plaintiff in the lawsuit against the FDA over Plan B delay.
- Wal-Mart to stock EC Plan B at all pharmacies nationwide; Conn. health plans will not cover pharmacies not carrying EC, AG says.
- New videos promote awareness of emergency contraception as tool to prevent unintended pregnancies among teens. The videos can be downloaded from the CFHC website, www.cfhc.org.
- Lawsuit to force US government to allow nonprescription sales of Plan B can continue.
- To view the 60 Minutes special on EC and the FDA, click here to go to the CBS video archives.
- Read the final GAO report, "Food and Drug Administration Decision Process to Deny Initial Application for Over-the-Counter Marketing of Emergency Contraceptive Drug Plan B Was Unusual."
- Crawford did not cooperate with GAO investigation of nonprescription Plan B application rejection, congressional staffers say.
- FDA's 2004 decision to reject application for nonprescription sales of Plan B was unusual, GAO draft report says.
- Senators Clinton and Murray circulate a petition to the FDA to make Plan B available over-the-counter to US women.
- 62 legislators urge acting FDA Commissioner Von Eschenbach to approve Plan B for nonprescription sales.
Former member of FDA Advisory Panel resigns over handling of Plan B application.
FDA Commissioner Crawford resigns amid criticism over delay in Plan B application; Bush names NCI Director as acting head.
Massachusetts legislature overrides governor's veto of bill requiring hospitals to offer EC to rape survivors, allowing pharmacies to dispense EC.
13 US senators ask GAO to release findings from investigation into FDA's delayed decision on Plan B.
India approves emergency contraception for nonprescription sales
An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine calls the FDA's delay a "sad day for science."
The American Academy of Pediatrics releases policy statement supporting nonprescription sales of EC to teenagers. Numerous other medical organizations support nonprescription access to EC for US women.
- Susan Wood, the Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health at the FDA, resigns from the FDA over the agency's treatment of Plan B. Read Kaiser's summary of national editorials on the FDA's delay in making a decision on Plan B.
- The FDA postpones decision on Barr Laboratories' application to take Plan B over the counter for US women over 16. Senators Clinton and Murray express outrage. Read the FDA's statement and Barr's press release.
- FDA to make decision on Plan B application by Sept. 1; senators lift holds on Crawford's FDA Commissioner nomination.
- Making EC available without prescription does not increase use of drug, study says.
- New Hampshire governor signs bill allowing emergency contraception to be sold without doctor's prescription.
- 55% of Catholic, 42% of non-Catholic U.S. hospitals do not dispense EC in emergency departments, study says.
- Studies show that emergency contraception prevents fertilization, not implantation.
- As of 19 April, 2005, it became legal for pharmacists in Canada to dispense Plan B without a prescription.
- Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report summarizes opinion pieces on FDA's delayed decision on Plan B.
- Senators Murray, Clinton announce plans to "hold" nomination of FDA head; senators unsatisfied with continued delays on approval of over-the-counter status of Plan B.
- Health Canada is going to make the progestin-only emergency contraceptive Plan B available behind-the-counter from pharmacists (without a doctor's prescription) sometime in April 2005.
- Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey has signed legislation requiring health care facilities that provide care to survivors of sexual assault to provide information about emergency contraception and the contraceptives upon request. New Jersey joins California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Washington as states which require emergency care facilities to provide information about emergency contraception to rape survivors and to either provide EC or refer patients to a provider who will.
- FDA decision on Plan B OTC status delayed, and a lawsuit is filed against the FDA.
- Kaiser summarizes editorials on DOJ guidelines for treatment of sexual assault survivors, which failed to mention the use of emergency contraception.
- Women with easy access to emergency contraception not more likely to engage in unprotected sex, study says.
- A large-scale trial in China found that it is just as effective to take the second dose of levonorgestrel-only emergency contraception 24 hours after the first dose as it is to take it 12 hours later
- US Department of Justice omits emergency contraception from sexual assault treatment guidelines. Read the full protocol here.
- Barr Laboratories applies for OTC status for emergency contraceptive Plan B for women age 16 and older.
- The Feminist Majority Foundation organizes a petition urging the FDA to stop playing politics with women's lives; more than 70,000 Americans send an e-mail to the FDA in support of making Plan B available over-the-counter, without a prescription and without an age restriction.
- Pharmacists can now take online course in prescribing emergency contraception. The Pharmacy Access program satisfies California's training requirement for pharmacists to provide EC.
- FDA scientists disagreed with agency's reasons for rejecting OTC status for EC Plan B, internal documents show.
- American Medical Association House of Delegates approves resolution supporting sale of Plan B without prescription.
- PREVEN IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE IN THE U.S. MARKET. If you have a prescription for Preven, ask your doctor to change it to Plan B, a progestin-only emergency contraceptive.
- Robert Steinbrook, M.D., criticizes the FDA's decision in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Canadian government proposes selling emergency contraception without doctor's prescription
- Read more editorials on the FDA decision here and here.
- Read Kaiser Network's summary of nation-wide editorials and opinion pieces on the FDA decision to block Plan B from going over-the-counter.
- ACOG criticizes FDA decision using particularly strong language, calling it "morally repugnant" and "a tragedy for American women."
- FDA rejects Barr's application to take Plan B over-the-counter. See the FDA's letter here, and read the Kaiser Network's report here.
- ACOG leaders call for FDA approval of OTC status for emergency contraceptive Plan B
- USA Today publishes opposing opinion pieces on FDA decision on OTC status for emergency contraception.
- FDA decision on over-the-counter status for EC 'Influenced by Political Considerations,' NEJM editorial says.
- Young women with advance supply of EC no less likely to use other contraceptives than women without EC, study says.
- Maine Governor Signs Bill To Authorize Pharmacists To Dispense EC Without Doctor's Prescription.
- Barr completes acquisition of Women's Capital Corporation and Plan B emergency contraceptives.
- A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey examines Californian's experiences with emergency contraception, including findings on the state's "pharmacy access" program.
- The FDA postpones making a decision on Barr's application to take Plan B over-the-counter, asks for more information on adolescent use of EC.
- Kaiser summarizes further editorials and opinion pieces responding to the FDA panels' recommendation to take EC over the counter. And here are yet more summaries of editorials from Kaiser.
- Opinion/editorials respond to FDA panels' recommendation to allow sale of emergency contraception without prescription: Kaiser summarizes a national sampling of articles on the recent FDA meeting.
- FDA advisory panels recommend that EC be sold without prescription.
- Adolescents unaware of emergency contraception, according to survey
- FDA to review emergency contraceptive Plan B for over-the-counter status
- Increased access to EC would save New York State $452 million annually, comptroller report says. You can view the complete report here.
- Most Pennsylvania pharmacists cannot fill emergency contraception prescriptions same day as request
- Barr Labs announces decision to acquire the emergency contraceptive Plan B from Women's Capital Corporation.
- California governor Davis signed a bill that will make emergency contraception more widely available by allowing pharmacists to prescribe EC to women without entering into collaborative agreements with doctors. Another bill makes the pills more affordable by capping the fees pharmacists can charge for consultation.
- New York Governor signs measure requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors.
- You can now view and download digital versions of Planned Parenthood's series of television ads for emergency contraception. Search our database of educational and promotional materials for "tv spots," or go directly to http://ec.princeton.edu/ecmaterials/ecads.html.
- Internet filters block access to important sexual health information, including the emergency contraception website www.not-2-late.com.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation surveys women's health care providers' experiences with emergency contraception.
- Australian officials approve sale of emergency contraception without doctor's prescription. The public has four weeks to respond to the decision, and the committee will vote again in October to confirm the new rule.
- A new study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology shows that emergency contraception is effective up to 120 hours after unprotected sex. Another study in the same issue shows that women can use combined oral contraceptives other than those containing levonorgestrel, and also suggests that eliminating the second dose in the Yuzpe regimen can reduce side effects without compromising effectiveness. Click here to find references to the two articles authored by Ellertson et al.
- The New York Times examines increasing awareness, use of emergency contraception since 1999.
- On Monday, April 21, 2003, the Women's Capital Corporation submits its application to the FDA to switch Plan B from prescription-only to over-the-counter (OTC) status in the United States.
- New York City Council Overrides Mayor Bloomberg's Vetoes of Emergency Contraception Bills, requires city hospital emergency rooms to provide EC to rape survivors.
- New York City mayor signs into law bill requiring city STD clinics, health facilities to offer EC, vetoes two other EC bills.
- The New York Times examines access to emergency contraception in the United States. Kaiser Network summarizes the article and provides a link.
- New York legislators, health advocates push for expanded access to emergency contraception, including over-the-counter availability and mandatory hospital provision of EC to rape survivors.
- A new analysis conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute shows that emergency contraception has played a key role in abortion rate declines between 1994 and 2000. In 2000 alone, AGI estimates that EC averted as many as 51,000 abortions.
- Catholic hospitals limit women's access to emergency contraception treatment. A national survey of all 597 US Catholic hospital emergency rooms found that the availability of emergency contraception to women in general, and rape victims in particular, is restricted. The study suggests some hospitals are on a collision course with state law.
- A new WHO study finds that progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills (Plan B, NorLevo, Estinor, Postinor and Postinor II) can be taken in one dose of 1.5mg levonorgestrel instead of two doses of 0.75 levonorgestrel, and that they can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after intercourse. A second study also shows that both doses are just as effective if they are taken at the same time.
- The Guttmacher Report examines the need to increase public awareness about emergency contraception in the United States.
- The Kaiser Network continues to profile emergency contraception with the second part of a two-part article, "The Last Chance Contraceptive".
- Emergency Contraception not widely available in New York City, survey finds.
- Nearly half of U.S. University-based health clinics do not offer emergency contraception, study says.
- California hospitals are now required by law to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors in emergency rooms.
- Washington governor signs law requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors.
- Women in Alaska can now receive emergency contraceptive pills from select pharmacies without the need for a clinician's prescription.
- Great Britain's largest supermarket chain is now dispensing emergency contraception to teens at no charge.
- The Back Up Your Birth Control campaign aims to put emergency contraception into women's hands before they need it.
- French government allows minors to receive free emergency contraception from pharmacies.
- Read The Last-Chance Contraceptive, a Special Report by the Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report and kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Women in California can now receive emergency contraceptive pills from participating pharmacies without a clinician's prescription.
- Quebec pharmacists may now dispense emergency contraception without a prescription.
- Illinois House passes bill requiring hospitals to inform rape victims about EC.
- New York Assembly passes legislation requiring hospital ERs to inform rape survivors of EC, including Catholic hospitals.
- Search the EC Materials Database for descriptions of emergency contraception educational and promotional materials from the United States and abroad, including client materials, provider education and training resources, and media campaign materials.
- Over 60 medical and women's groups petition the FDA to make emergency contraception available over the counter.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) releases a statement declaring support for making emergency contraceptive pills available over the counter.
- The dedicated emergency contraception product NorLevo is now available over the counter in Norway. This is the first time that an EC product is available to women without contact with a clinician or pharmacist.
- NARAL's new "Ten Minute Activist" website features immediate steps that activists can take online to learn more about reproductive rights issues and to advocate for choice. NARAL has also created a searchable database of all reproductive rights related bills introduced in state legislature.
- Levonorgestrel (0.75 mg, pack of two) has now officially been added to The WHO Model List of Essential Drugs, 11th edition, 1999. (See Section 18: Hormones, other Endocrine Drugs, and Contraceptives.)
- The Emergency Contraception Hotline Quality Assurance Study finds barriers to EC.
- New Emergency Contraception Hotline materials available at no charge.
- RHTP survey finds pharmacists and public favor widespread access to EC, oppose restrictive "conscience clause" legislation.
- ProChoice Resource Center kicks off EC Does It campaign.
- Celebrities spread the word about emergency contraception in new ad campaign from PPFA.
- FDA approves Plan B, the first progestin-only dedicated emergency contraceptive product.
- A list of ECPs around the world is now available on this website.
- The Toolkit from the May Pharmacist / ECP Workshop is now available on PATH's website.
- The dedicated emergency contraceptive product NorLevo is now available over the counter in France.
- The Population Council's Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has launched a dedicated emergency contraception website in Spanish.
- Title X Family Planning Clinics can now order Preven at a discount.
- "Train The Trainer" emergency contraception slides can now be downloaded from the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.
- World Health Organization study finds that efficacy of emergency contraception declines with increasing time since unprotected intercourse.
- Women's Capital Corporation submits New Drug Application for progestin-only emergency contraceptive.
- Planned Parenthood of Georgia introduces toll-free Emergency Contraception Connection.
- FDA approves Preven, the first dedicated emergency contraceptive product.
- World Health Organization study finds that emergency contraceptive pills containing only the progestin levonorgestrel are more effective and cause fewer side effects than the standard regimen containing both estrogen and progestin.
- A University of Washington survey shows overwhelming response to the PATH pilot project which allows women in that state to get emergency contraception directly from participating pharmacies.
- The Kaiser Family now produces a Daily Reproductive Health Report.
- The seventeenth revised edition of Contraceptive Technology is available as of June 15th, 1998 from Ardent Media.
- An important study is underway in Iowa to determine whether emergency contraception is still effective when started more than 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
- Women in Washington state can receive emergency contraceptive pills from participating pharmacies without a doctor's prescription.
- The Reproductive Health Technologies Project produces an animated banner which can be downloaded and used as a pointer to the emergency contraception home page.
- The New England Journal of Medicine of October 9, 1997, publishes a review article, "Emergency Postcoital Contraception" as well as an editorial, "Emergency Contraception - Expanding Opportunities for Primary Prevention".
- Reproductive Health Technologies Project announces a year-long media campaign to educate women about Emergency Contraception.
- FDA publishes notice in Federal Register declaring ECPs to be safe and effective.
- A 24-hour toll-free emergency contraception hotline is launched on February 14, 1996.