December 2nd, 2013

Back Up Your Birth Control

On November 25, 2013, Mother Jones reported that the European manufacturer of a Plan B One-Step equivalent will warn women on its packaging that the drug is ineffective for women who weigh more than 176 pounds, and becomes less effective for women who weigh over 165 pounds.

The U.S Food & Drug Administration has stated it will review certain emergency contraception pills, and decide whether changes need to be made to Plan B One-Step & its generic equivalent’s (Next Choice) warning labels.

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Join us to celebrate EC’s new over-the-counter status!

Starting on August 1st, 2013, Plan B One-Step will now be available for purchase on store shelves without age or point-of-sale restrictions. This is a HUGE victory for women’s health, and the BUYBC Campaign is excited to celebrate! 

During the week of August 1st-8th, we’ll be participating in Reproductive Health Technologies Project’s "Healthcare In Our Hands" campaign to help raise awareness of the EC’s new OTC status. Visit their new website - ecotc.tumblr.com - to learn how you can get involved!

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We have #ECinOurHands! Spotted at a Duane Reade near our New York City office.

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GREAT NEWS for EC: The Obama Administration Announces Plan to Make Plan B One-Step Available OTC for All Women

On June 5th, the Obama Administration dropped its appeal of Judge Korman’s original April ruling on making emergency contraception available over-the-counter with no age restrictions! Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step, will be invited to submit a new application to make Plan B One-Step available on the shelf for people of all ages. The FDA is expected to approve this application without delay. 

The BUYBC Campaign will continue to monitor the progress. In the meantime, to learn more: 

Judge Orders All Restrictions Lifted on Some ‘Morning-After’ Pills, New York Times
Feds Cave On Emergency Contraception Age Restrictions, NPR

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What’s going on with EC?

The availability of emergency contraception (EC) over-the-counter (OTC) for people of all ages remains unknown despite an April 5, 2013 ruling making it widely available without a prescription by federal Judge Edward R. Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. 

Since then, the Obama Administration’s appeal and request for a stay, or a hold, on Judge Korman’s decision, was denied on May 10, 2013. However, Judge Korman has granted a temporary stay to allow the government to request a stay from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration announced last month that they would allow consumers ages 15 years and older to purchase Plan B One-Step without a prescription although a government-issued photo ID must be presented at the time of purchase.  

Currently, the status of EC OTC remains unknown pending further appeal. The Back Up Your Birth Control Campaign will continue to monitor and work tirelessly with our allies to advocate for full, unrestricted access to this safe and effective product. Please continue to watch this space as we follow what is next in the fight for full access. 

Further Reading
Judge rips Obama’s right-wing Plan B stance, Salon
Drug Agency Lowers Age for Next-Day Birth Control, New York Times

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On Friday, July 13, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved Next Choice ONE DOSE, the generic equivalent to Plan B One-Step

According to the press release, Watson Pharmaceuticals plans to launch this product “immediately.” According to the FDA, “the cost of a generic drug is 80 to 85 percent lower than the brand name product,” highlighting the economic significance of the recent decision. This generic version will help countless women who are struggling financially with their reproductive health needs. We are thrilled to see this new EC product come onto the market to provide women with more cost-effective options to back up their birth control. As of September 2012, our EC info page and Fact Sheet have been updated to reflect the new EC option, Next Choice ONE DOSE.
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Thanks for all your support and participation on the 11th annual Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action!

We’ll see you again in 2013!

On Wednesday, March 28, 2012 we collectively set the record straight about emergency contraception (EC). This year’s theme was EC = BC (as in birth control), and we used the day to defeat the myths and lies, spreading the word that EC is a safe and effective form of birth control that prevents pregnancy after sex, but will only work if you are not pregnant!

Check out our EC = BC tumblr!

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Raising awareness about EC isn’t restricted to just one day, so please join us in continuing to spread the EC=BC message throughout the rest of the year! You can still share the images with your networks – and continue to create and submit your own! It’s simple: Take an iconic image, write a catchy slogan to go with the theme, add the tagline EC = BC, then post the images to the tumblr yourself! We know for a fact – this is fun, and even addictive. Get creative! We’ll circulate your images on social media throughout the Day of Action!

Other ways you can continue to get involved:
- Get a coupon for discounted EC and encourage your friends to do the same.
- Learn the facts about EC products and how to access them.
- Join our media effort by blogging on the Day of Action.
- Download our EC Fact Sheet and distribute it in your community.
- Visit our Take Action page for more ideas!

Thanks for making this year’s Back Up Your Birth Control campaign the best one yet - and for continuing to spread this important message!

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If you have questions about the Back Up Your Birth Control campaign or would like to sign up to receive email alerts, contact Gina Asprocolas at gasprocolas@nirhealth.org.

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The Back Up Your Birth Control campaign is a project of the National Institute for Reproductive Health.

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