After a long debate and following the most recent court order in April 2013, the FDA has announced that Plan B One-Step will be made available over the counter with no age restrictions. This means that all women of reproductive age will be able to purchase Plan B One-Step without a prescription, and without needing to show ID or proof of age. Previously, over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step were going to be restricted to ages 15 and older.
For now, the restrictions are only being lifted for the brand-name, single-pill Plan B One-Step. Over-the-counter sales of other two-pill emergency contraceptives and generics will still be restricted to ages 17 and older. It was the court’s opinion that all emergency contraceptive pills should be made available without age restrictions, however, the FDA is only allowing the single-pill Plan B at the moment, making the argument that it is easier and less confusing to use.
It will still take some time for the over-the-counter version to appear in pharmacies; although the restrictions have been lifted, the manufacturer had apply to the FDA to sell Plan B One-Step with no age limits, and the medication must be repackaged for over-the-counter sales.
Some unrestricted generics may eventually become available over the counter, but it’s possible that the manufacturers of Plan B One-Step may get exclusive rights for a period of time. Plan B One-Step typically costs $40 – $50.
For more information, check out the FDA announcement here.