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FDA gives 15- and 16-year-olds access to Plan B emergency contraceptive without prescription

The FDA said emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step could be sold on shelves next to other family planning products such as condoms and pregnancy tests.
The FDA said emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step could be sold on shelves next to other family planning products such as condoms and pregnancy tests. Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Less than a month after a federal judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraception available over the counter without any age restrictions, the agency announced that it would allow one product to be offered on drugstore shelves -- but only to those age 15 and over.

The agency said Plan B One-Step could be sold on shelves next to other family planning products such as condoms and pregnancy tests. Consumers will be required to show proof of age.

Emergency contraception needs to be taken within three days of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy; it’s currently available without a prescription to those age 17 and over but is kept behind a pharmacy counter and dispensed only when the pharmacy is open.

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