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The Boston Globe



On Plan B, educate consumers, don’t limit access

Turning back the clock and restricting access to over-the-counter Plan B, as suggested in a Dec. 4 response to the article “Plan B less effective in overweight women,” is shortsighted and misses the point of the historic decision to put Plan B on store shelves (“European warning raises question on access to Plan B,” Letters). Every effort should be made to educate consumers about Plan B without limiting their access to time-sensitive medication, particularly since Plan B is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex, which may not align with pharmacy hours.

New information about Plan B warrants careful review by the Food and Drug Administration, and relevant health information should be included on the labeling. This is not the first time over-the-counter medications have presented consumer education challenges, as illustrated by the lengthy warnings on the bottles of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. In each case, a response to the limitations of a particular medication should be focused on increasing education.

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