UPDATE: Generic Brands of Plan B Approved For All-Ages

Last April, we reported that Plan B One-Step would now be available to anyone of any age and gender.

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While this was a big plus in the movement towards positive reproductive health for young women, the pill is very expensive due to a marketing monopoly, no generic versions would be offered for several years.

We are excited to announcement that this is no longer the case. The FDA published a letter  this past week stating that generic brands can be sold to men and women of all ages right alongside Plan B One-Step. And that’s great news.

The Benefits of Generic Plan B Brands

Now a potentially life-changing choice that many young women face either by accident or lack of education will come a little easier. These generic brands are going to sell for about half the price of Plan B One-Step-- about $20-$30 instead of $50. For young high school kids without jobs, it’s not going to be cheap, but it’ll still be a little more accessible than previously, and far more cost effective than either an abortion or raising a child.

This is also great news for young women over 165 lbs, as Plan B One-Step has been found to be ineffective emergency contraception for those over that weight-- and over half American women are.

Plan B One-Step and its generics are not abortifacients (although some forms of emergency contraception are or can be) and there’s no evidence that they will harm an already-conceived fetus. Still, this new decision to offer a cheaper alternative to folks of all ages isn’t without criticism.

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The box will still list the medication as not being available to people under the age of seventeen, although that is no longer true. A recent study conducted found that many pharmacists provided researchers posing as underage girls looking for Plan B One-Step with incorrect information or would not sell to them without having an, ‘adult,’ present. There’s been no word as to whether or not pharmacists will be specially trained or reminded of this new approval by the FDA.

If you are under the age of seventeen and have a pharmacist tell you that you can’t purchase Plan B One-Step or a generic, contact your local Planned Parenthood for help, or go to a different pharmacy. Remember, too, that there are also no age restrictions on purchasing condoms.

Check out our Plan B Buying Guide to learn all you need to know about this contraception method.

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