An over-the-counter “morning-after” pill now being shipped to drug stores should be available to consumers by next week, its manufacturer said Tuesday.The pill, Plan B, reduces the risk of pregnancy after unprotected sex by 89 percent. It initially was available by prescription only, but this limited its effectiveness — the longer after sex the pill is taken, the less effective it becomes.
Last August, the Food and Drug Administration made Plan B available without prescription to consumers 18 and older. Barr Pharmaceuticals began shipping over-the-counter Plan B packages last Friday, and said the product should be widely available by next week.
There are nearly 3 million unintended pregnancies in the United States each year. On average, a woman has an 8 percent chance of getting pregnant after a single act of unprotected intercourse. Plan B reduces this chance to 1 percent. – chicago