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January 25, 2012

Science, Politics, and Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

JAMA. 2012;307(4):365-366. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1957

On December 7, 2011, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA’s) decision that levonorgestrel emergency contraception (sold under the brand name Plan B One-Step) was safe and effective for all women of childbearing potential, regardless of their age, and should be approved for sale as a nonprescription drug. Plan B One-Step is a single-dose 1.5-mg tablet of levonorgestrel that should be taken as soon as possible and within 72 hours after an episode of unprotected intercourse.

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