In a surprise twist to the effort to ease access to morning-after pills, the government has lowered the age limit to 15 for one brand — Plan B One-Step — and given the go-ahead for the Plan B morning-after-pill to be placed on store shelves, not kept behind pharmacy counters.

Today, Plan B and its generic competition are sold behind pharmacy counters, and people must prove they're 17 or older to buy the emergency contraception without a prescription. A federal judge had ordered those restrictions to be dropped.

But on Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a different approach: Plan B could sit on drugstore shelves with other women's health products — but buyers must prove they're 15 or older at the cash register.

Manufacturer Teva Women's Health says it plans to make the switch in a few months.


Associated Press