(NaturalNews) Milk, eggs, and a pack of "Plan B One-Step" drugs -- this could become a typical grocery store shopping list for millions of young women across the country, should the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cave to new pressure from Big Pharma to loosen emergency contraceptive restrictions. The Washington Post (WP) reports that the FDA is now considering allowing levonorgestrel, the infamous, emergency "morning after" contraceptive, to be sold over the counter at grocery and drug stores, to girls of all ages.
First approved for prescription use back in 1999, Plan B contraceptives have become gradually much easier to obtain over the years. In 2006, pressure from the drug's manufacturer, Teva Women's Health, Inc., caused the FDA to approve Plan B for over-the-counter (OTC) use among women ages 18 and over. That ruling later dropped to ages 17 and over, and now the agency wants to allow girls of all ages to purchase the drug without a prescription.
"The Food and Drug Administration has until Wednesday to respond to a request from the drug's manufacturer to make the pill as easy to get as toilet paper and toothpaste," wrote Rob Stein of WP in a recent editorial piece. "The request follows a series of steps in recent years that have gradually made Plan B easier to obtain."
Besides the ethical and moral issues involved with making contraceptive drugs readily accessible to young girls without a prescription or parental consent, the drug itself can cause serious health problems when not taken properly. Adolescent girls, for instance, may not know how to properly take the drug, or understand the dangerous side effects that could result if taken improperly or in combination with various other drugs that might cause complications.
According to Drugs.com, levonorgestrel has 11 major drug interactions, 141 moderate drug interactions, 23 minor drug interactions, four food and alcohol interactions, and 11 disease interactions (http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/levon...). How many 12- or 13-year-old girls, for instance, who could soon be able to pick up Plan B as easily as a pack of gum at their local drug store, will have the proper knowledge and understanding to ascertain these potential complications?