The FDA's Office of Women's Health (OWH) director has resigned in protest over the agency's refusal to permit OTC sales of Barr's Plan B emergency contraceptive.
OWH director Susan Wood announced her resignation in an e-mail to agency colleagues.
The FDA declined to comment on Wood's departure.
The agency announced it would defer a decision on the politically sensitive drug, pending a 60-day public comment period. That decision came despite an earlier promise to Congress from FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford to make a final decision on Plan B by Sept. 1.
Senators Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) placed a hold on Crawford's nomination to commissioner in June, demanding a yes or no decision on the drug, but relented in July when he issued a Sept. 1 deadline.
"It is deeply disturbing that an agency long recognized for making decisions based on sound science has become so politicized that one of its most widely respected, long-serving veterans would feel disillusioned enough to quit in protest," Clinton and Murray said in a joint statement.