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Should the HHS Decision to Overrule FDA on Plan B Be Reversed

Peter J. Pitts

Abstract

On December 7, 2011, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius overruled a decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the over-the-counter (OTC) status of emergency contraception.

What will be the repercussions of Secretary Sebelius’s action? Why is the act itself of far greater long-term significance than the transitory regulatory action it impacts?

By reversing an FDA decision, the Secretary has set a dangerous precedent for all-comers to lobby Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House on any and all FDA decisions—directly inserting politics into what must be a scientifically driven process.

Keywords

FDA, HHS, Plan B

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References

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