Morning-After pill warning for women

May be ineffective for some women

Author: Tara Evans, Producer, tevans@wkmg.com
Published On: Nov 25 2013 03:21:27 PM EST
Plan B morning after pill

A European company that makes morning-after pills has announced pills are ineffective for women of certain weights.

According to the Mother Jones report, HRA Pharma, a French manufacturer of the European drug Norlevo is now changing its packaging information to warn women that the pill loses effectiveness in women more than 165 pounds, and is completely ineffective in women over 176 pounds.

The problem could also affect American women, because some of the most popular over-the-counter medications, both one-pill and two-pill versions, including Plan B One-Step, My Way and Next Choice One Dose, have dosages and chemical makeups identical to Norlevo.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicates the average weight for an American woman is 166 pounds, which would mean the morning-after pill would be less effective for an average-weight woman.

Plan B One-Step is the only pill available to women of all ages without a prescription for about $50.

At the moment, Mother Jones also reports the Food and Drug Administration prohibits generic drug manufacturers from changing product information unless the brand name manufacturer makes a change. That means companies that manufacture generic versions of Plan B One-Step cannot update their packaging information unless Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the exclusive manufacturer of Plan B One-Step, does it first.

So far, no comment on this issue from the FDA or from Teva.