FDA Approves Non-Prescription Morning After Pills - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

FDA Approves Non-Prescription Morning After Pills

FDA Approves Non-Prescription Morning After Pills

Thursday the Food and Drug Administration gave the green light for pharmacists to sell Plan B, or the "morning after pill" without a prescription. The only catch, the person buying it must be 18 years or older.

Doctor Wendi Carns from Cape Care For Women in Cape Girardeau often prescribes the morning after pill, or Plan B. She prescribes it not just for her youngest patients...all of them, because she says accidents happen. "If taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse it prevents between 60% and 80% of unwanted pregnancies", said Carns. The pill actually prevents ovulation, therefore preventing conception. Carns says people confuse Plan B with abortion pill, RU-486. "This pill is not an abortive agent. If you already have an established pregnancy this pill is not dangerous to the pregnancy in any way", said Carns. 

You won't convince pharmacist Ben Tally this is the right way to go. "When I first heard it might be released over the counter I didn't think it had a chance, I'm really surprised", said Tally. Doctors will still have to prescribe the pill to patients 17 and under. But, tally says, "It's kind of like with alcohol, or anything else. We'll have an 18 year old buying it for someone else." Tally made the decision not to stock or dispense the pill at his Medicap Pharmacy in Cape Girardeau. He says, "It's a personal thing." He can do that because state's like Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee don't have state laws governing the sale of the drug. In Illinois, however, pharmacies must make the pill available to customers. 

Doctor Wendi Carns says the drug is safe, even for the youngest teens. "If this is used by people who have accidents and who need help it could drop the abortion rate by 50% in this country", said Carns. 

Opponents also argue the pill will increase promiscuity. The pill will be available over-the-counter at most pharmacies by the end of the year. The two-pill pack costs anywhere from $25-$40.  

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