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Group Files Application for Non-Prescription EC

The U.S.-based Women’s Capital Corporation (WCC), along with Canadian distributor Paladin Labs, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, and the Canadian Pharmacists Association, has filed an application with Health Canadian to make the emergency contraception (EC) Plan B available to all Canadian women without a prescription. Included in the application are the results of a WCC Label Comprehension Study of 600 American women, which showed up to 98 percent understanding of Plan B’s labeling, as well as European post-marketing safety data. “Based on the results,” said Sharon Camp, President of WCC, “we are confident that women including minorities, low-income and underage women will be able to use [Plan B].” Health Canadian approved EC in 2000 for use with a prescription. Since then, however, Canadian women in British Columbia and Quebec have been able to obtain EC without a prescription through special agreements between pharmacists and physicians.

WCC is now planning to submit an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of over-the-counter access to EC. EC has the potential, according to Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports, to prevent almost one-half of the 3 million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. each year.

The Feminist Majority Foundation has launched a campaign to make EC over-the-counter and increase access on college campuses nationwide. To find out more, visit www.PrescribeChoice.org.

Sources:

Reuters Health, 3/12/02; BW Health Wire, 3/8/02; Feminist Majority Foundation