Judge Orders FDA To Allow “Plan B” Contraceptive Sales to 17 Year Olds Without Prescription
U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman likely overstepped his authority yesterday when he ordered the FDA to allow 17 year-olds to purchase “Plan B” contraceptives without a prescription. Under current rules, women younger than 18 must have a prescription to get access to the drug.
The proper remedy was to remand to the FDA to reconsider its rulemaking. The judge gave lip service to this remedy by ordering the remand, but also ordered the FDA to come to a certain conclusion: it must allow 17 year-olds to purchase Plan B without a prescription.
The judge also applied the wrong standard when determining if improper political influence affected FDA rulemaking. This is a decision crying out for appeal. The decision and order is here (PDF).