FDA Should Stick to Science
Leading Reproductive Health Care Advocate and Provider Calls for Swift Approval Of Emergency Contraception Over-the-Counter
WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America today called on the new director of the Office of Women's Health at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Kathleen Uhl, to restore the agency's credibility by making decisions about women's health based on science and public health priorities, not politics. Dr. Uhl will replace an acting director of the office, Teresa Toigo, who has served since September when Dr. Susan Wood, a key women's health expert, resigned in protest of the FDA's mishandling of the application to make Plan B emergency contraception (EC) available over the counter.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America Interim President Karen Pearl issued these comments on the appointment:
"The FDA has a very important job to do and Planned Parenthood hopes the appointment of Dr. Uhl signals a step in the right direction. The sooner the agency refocuses on science and not politics, the safer and healthier American women will be. We urge Dr. Uhl to be an advocate for sound science and stop the needless delays in granting women over-the-counter access to safe, effective emergency contraception. We hope this appointment is a step forward on the FDA's long road toward restoring its integrity with women and their health care providers like Planned Parenthood."
On November 14, the Government Accountability Office released a report on the FDA's decision to reject the application to give women over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraception. The report found the process by which the decision was reached unusual, with top agency officials being directly involved, and the decision possibly made months before it was formally announced.