By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer
An emergency contraception pill has been given federal approval to be sold over-the-counter with no age restrictions, but it won’t immediately be available on store shelves.
“We plan to have it in stores by Aug. 1,” said Denise Bradley, spokeswoman for the manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
Changes have to be made in labeling by the manufacturer to allow the emergency contraception pill, called Plan B One-Step, to be widely available.
It’s currently available over-the-counter to those 17 and older and to younger teens with a prescription.
The pill generally is effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of birth control failure or unprotected sex.
At Group Health, a committee will meet next week to talk about how they’ll manage over-the-counter sales, said Katie McCarthy, a Group Health spokeswoman.
“There will be a little bit of time before you see it on the counter,” McCarthy said. “We’re waiting for the manufacturer to distribute the product with newer, over-the-counter labeling.”
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