Gov't shoots down over-the-counter Plan B for young teens

THE BRONX - The head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today shot down a Federal Drug Administration recommendation that a widely used emergency contraceptive pill be available without a prescription for young teens. The pill, called Plan B One-Step, is currently sold over the counter to women 17 and older. The makers of the drug had asked the FDA to lift that restriction so younger teens could access the contraceptive without a doctor visit. The FDA agreed, noting that the pill has been found to be safe and effective. However, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote in a statement that she didn't believe there was enough scientific evidence that young girls should take the drug without talking to a health professional. Local pharmacists are split on the decision. Some say they believe the so-called morning-after pill should be available to anyone who needs it, while others say young girls should speak to their doctor first.

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