Barr and FDA meet today to discuss Plan B

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Barr Pharmaceuticals and the FDA are scheduled to meet today to discuss the company’s bid to sell its emergency contraceptive Plan B without a prescription. In a letter sent to Barr last week, the FDA said it would re-examine Barr’s proposed sales of Plan B without a prescription. The agency said Plan B pills would be kept behind pharmacy counters and women would need to ask for them. Women younger than 18 still would need a prescription. The FDA said it hoped to wrap up Barr's application, which has lingered at the agency since 2003, within weeks. Last week, the FDA announced a framework to resolve policy issues associated with Plan B as an over-the-counter option, just one day prior to acting agency commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach’s scheduled testimony at a Senate hearing on his nomination to become permanent agency chief. The committee did not vote on von Eschenbach’s nomination. Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-NY and Patty Murray, D-Wash., have placed a hold on the nomination until the FDA makes a final decision on Plan B.

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