HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, April 7, 2006

Plan B: A Brief History

Majikthise, one of my favorite bloggers, has posted a history of emergency contraception.  She states,

Scientifically validated emergency contraception (EC) didn't exist until 1974. Dr. Albert Yuzpe, a Canadian OB-GYN, developed and tested the first EC regimen in 1974. Planned Parenthood explains:

The ECP regimen first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is called the Yuzpe Regimen, named for Canadian Professor A. Albert Yuzpe who, in 1974, published the first studies demonstrating the safety and efficacy of ECPs. The Yuzpe regimen consists of combined oral contraceptive pills that contain the hormones estrogen and progestin taken in two doses Our story begins in 1974 when emergency contraception was as innovative as rocket science.

The FDA declared the Yuzpe regimen safe and and effective in 1997 and approved an Yuzpe-based EC kit in 1998. Plan B got FDA approval in 1999.

The drug marketed under the name "Plan B" is a major advance on the Yuzpe regimen. Plan B is the first progestin-only emergency contraceptive pill on the US market.

As you know, the FDA denied over-the-counter status for Plan B in late 2003.  She provides some updated history of where the controversy is now.  [bm].

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