| NEW YORK, June 12
NEW YORK, June 12 A U.S. district court judge on
Wednesday approved a U.S. Food and Drug Administration plan to
allow unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step, a one-pill version
of the emergency contraception drug.
Judge Edward Korman of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn,
New York, said the FDA proposal was "sufficient" to comply with
his order to make emergency contraception widely available.
The Obama administration said on Monday that it would allow
unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step, the one-pill version of
the drug made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
The move followed an April 5 order by Korman for the FDA to
make emergency contraception available without age or
point-of-sale restrictions after finding it had been "arbitrary,
capricious and unreasonable" in rejecting a citizen petition to
Korman also said the FDA could lift restrictions on only the
one-pill version if it believed there was a "significant
difference" between that and an older two-pill version.
In a letter to Korman earlier Wednesday, Andrea Costello, a
lawyer in the case, said the FDA had failed to comply with the
order by not lifting restrictions on a two-pill version of the
The morning-after pill has been the subject of a lengthy
legal fight in the United States. Until recently, it was only
available without a prescription to women 17 and older who
presented proof of age at a pharmacist's counter.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive
Rights, which helped bring the lawsuit, called the judge's
decision a "historic victory" that will "bring emergency
contraception out from behind the pharmacy counter for millions
FDA spokeswoman Erica Jefferson declined to comment.