What We Said About Plan B

  • by: |
  • 08/08/2006

Mediamatters.org states that in an August 7 editorial, The Washington Times made two false claims regarding Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Patty Murray’s (D-WA) Senate “holds” on Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach’s nomination to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Times falsely claimed that “[t]he FDA and von Eschenbach have decided that women 18 and over should have … access” to the contraceptive pill known as Plan B, “while younger women can still get it with a prescription.” In fact, the FDA has not “decided” anything; instead, the agency has announced it will “proceed[] to work” with Plan B’s manufacturer, Barr Pharmaceuticals, to “discuss” a “framework for potential approvability” of allowing women 18 and over to obtain Plan B without a prescription.

The editorial also claimed that Clinton and Murray are “blocking the nomination until the FDA agrees to make the contraceptive Plan B … available without a prescription and without any restrictions on age or access.” But that is not what the two senators have said. They issued a press release demanding only that the FDA reach a final decision on the issue.

The blog cites our op-ed of the same day as the source of these ‘falsehoods’ so let us clarify: In his testimony Andy clearly stated that he had decided on an 18 and over OTC restriction and there was a lot of questioning about that decision. As to the Clinton and Murray stance. it is quite clear that if it was simply a matter of a decision, yes or no, the 2004 decision “no” decision would have been the end of the matter…But it was not. Citing the GAO report on the Plan B decision — excuse us — the LA Times spin on the GAO report — Mediamatters claims that federal drug regulators compromised their usual science-based decision-making process…”.. To which I have always said, what about the home HIV test that was held up on policy grounds under the Clinton administration FDA? What about limits on tobacco? Does anyone really believe that a hold would be lifted if the FDA issued a “no” or “yes, but” decision? Would the folks at mediamatters claim that the decisionmaking was science-based unless the decision was yes, yes, yes…?

Drugwonks was not born yesterday.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog