Women’s Health, Emergency Contraception
and the FDA
Susan F. Wood, PhD
Women’s Health Includes
• Conditions:
– Unique to women or a subgroup of women
– More prevalent in women
– More serious in...
Emergence of Women’s Health Issues
• Ovarian Cancer
• Breast Cancer
• Osteoporosis
• Heart Disease
• Breast Implants
• Cli...
FDA’s Mission
• Regulated products are:
– safe and efficacious
– honestly, accurately and informatively represented
– in c...
FDA’s Mission
Regulatory agency
with jurisdiction
over $.25 of every
consumer dollar
So where does Emergency Contraception Fit In?
• Plan B emergency contraception: Approved in 1999 as a
prescription product...
Emergency Contraception should be
Common Ground
• Prevents unintended pregnancy
• Does not cause abortion
• Only connectio...
Recommendation
Application
FDA review process
Recommendations come
through review chain at CDER,
final decision reached
Ap...
Points of change
• Advisory Committee (FDA has many precedents of
not accepting recommendations)
• Reviewer level
• Other ...
Timeline for Plan B
• Dec. 2003: Advisory Committee meeting
– 23-4 vote in favor of OTC status
– Unanimous vote regarding ...
Decision making for Health Policy
Must be based
on scientific
and medical
evidence
Must promote
health
This Decision Did N...
Where do we go from here?
• Bringing Emergency Contraception OTC is the first test
for the new Acting Commissioner of inde...
Resources for Information and Action
• FDA information about emergency contraception:
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopag...
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Women's Health, Emergency Contraception and the FDA

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Susan Wood, Ph.D. (Reproductive Health Technologies Project)
February 7, 2006

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Women's Health, Emergency Contraception and the FDA

  1. 1. Women’s Health, Emergency Contraception and the FDA Susan F. Wood, PhD
  2. 2. Women’s Health Includes • Conditions: – Unique to women or a subgroup of women – More prevalent in women – More serious in women – For which risk factors are different for women – Where the intervention/care is different
  3. 3. Emergence of Women’s Health Issues • Ovarian Cancer • Breast Cancer • Osteoporosis • Heart Disease • Breast Implants • Clinical Trials • AIDS • Mental Health • Toxic Shock Syndrome • Menopause
  4. 4. FDA’s Mission • Regulated products are: – safe and efficacious – honestly, accurately and informatively represented – in compliance with laws and regulations
  5. 5. FDA’s Mission Regulatory agency with jurisdiction over $.25 of every consumer dollar
  6. 6. So where does Emergency Contraception Fit In? • Plan B emergency contraception: Approved in 1999 as a prescription product for all women of childbearing potential • Manufacturer sought non-prescription status (over-the-counter, OTC) in 2003
  7. 7. Emergency Contraception should be Common Ground • Prevents unintended pregnancy • Does not cause abortion • Only connection to abortion is that it can prevent the need for one • Is very safe • Needs to be taken soon (within hours) to be most effective
  8. 8. Recommendation Application FDA review process Recommendations come through review chain at CDER, final decision reached Application Received Evaluated by appropriate review divisions Outside Scientific Advisory Committee convened, questions posed by FDA Reviews completed, recommendations by reviewers
  9. 9. Points of change • Advisory Committee (FDA has many precedents of not accepting recommendations) • Reviewer level • Other professional management level • Center Director • Commissioner
  10. 10. Timeline for Plan B • Dec. 2003: Advisory Committee meeting – 23-4 vote in favor of OTC status – Unanimous vote regarding safety • May 2004: Center Director sends “non-approvable” letter requesting 2-tier prescription/non prescription status • Summer 2004: Company resubmits • Winter 2005: expected decision based on usual timelines • August 2005: FDA Commissioner determines need to open for public comment and possible rulemaking on issue of 2-tier status Dec ‘03 May ‘04 Summer ‘04 Aug ‘05Winter ‘05
  11. 11. Decision making for Health Policy Must be based on scientific and medical evidence Must promote health This Decision Did Neither
  12. 12. Where do we go from here? • Bringing Emergency Contraception OTC is the first test for the new Acting Commissioner of independence and priority on science • We must insist that FDA and all health agencies base decisions on science and medical evidence • We can’t risk the credibility of FDA as “gold standard” for safety and effectiveness of drugs, medical devices, and biologics
  13. 13. Resources for Information and Action • FDA information about emergency contraception: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/planB • Reproductive Health Technologies Project: http://www.rhtp.org Back Up Your Birth Control Campaign 1-888-NOT-2-LATE • Union of Concerned Scientists Scientist Statement on Scientific Integrity http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/ On February 18, 2004, over 60 leading scientists–Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors, and university chairs and presidents–signed the statement, voicing their concern over the misuse of science by the Bush administration.

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