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Plan B to be sold over the counter, protected from generics for three years

The FDA will allow generic versions of the emergency contraceptive in 2016

As promised, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will finally allow the Plan B One-Step morning after pill to be sold to women of all ages, and will protect it from generic competition for the next three years.

According to Wednesday's decision, generic drug makers can apply to the FDA to sell generic versions of the emergency contraceptive starting in 2016. It's a bit complicated though—the FDA has removed all age restrictions from the sale of Plan B, but any generic versions will only be available to those 17 and older. That means, though both versions will be sold over the counter, anyone younger than 17 will still have to pay the $50 to get brand-name Plan B, while those older can pay about $40 for the generic version. But not until 2016, of course.

The FDA gave in on its legal battle surrounding emergency contraceptives in June, rescinding its claims that the pills were dangerous for young women and agreeing to allow them to be sold without prescriptions to women of any age. However, the cheapest version of Plan B—the two-pill version—will still be tucked away behind counters, and require a prescription for anyone under 17.

Read more at NPR.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the morning after pill, see below:

Government will allow morning after pill to be sold to all ages

2nd Circuit orders unrestricted sale of some emergency contraceptives

FDA appeals “morning after” pill ruling

Judge strikes down restrictions on “morning after” pill

Hobby Lobby must cover morning-after pill, judge rules

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