Wisconsin considers suing FDA over Plan B decision

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 2, 2006

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Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle in December 2005 gave his attorney general the green light to sue the Food and Drug Administration for delaying over-the-counter approval for the "Plan B" emergency contraceptive commonly known as the morning-after pill.

The FDA said there was a lack of safety information for girls younger than 16. But Doyle criticized the FDA's decision for being politically rather than scientifically motivated.

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager is working with the Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Family Services to determine whether the state will file its own lawsuit or join a lawsuit the Center for Reproductive Rights filed in January 2005.

Wisconsin doctors who support Plan B say there is good evidence to support its effectiveness against fertilization, while opponents say the pill could be used as an abortive agent.

The FDA would not comment on the litigation but said it is reviewing public comments before making a further decision on whether to approve over-the-counter status. The drugmaker applied to sell the pill without a prescription to women 16 and older but still awaits FDA approval.

Other states, such as Illinois and California, have passed laws to sell the contraceptive to women older than 16, but Wisconsin state officials say the Legislature has not indicated whether it will follow suit.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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