FDA panel endorses ellaOne morning-after contraceptive pill

By Associated Press
Friday, June 18, 2010

U.S. government health experts voted Thursday to endorse a new type of morning-after contraceptive pill that works longer than existing products, concluding that it is safe and effective.

The unanimous recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration's panel of reproductive health experts moves the pill ellaOne, which is approved in Europe, one step closer to the U.S. markets. The FDA is not required to follow the panel's advice, although it often does.

EllaOne successfully reduces the chance of pregnancy for up to five days after sex. Plan B, the most widely used emergency contraceptive pill, is effective only if women take it within three days of having sex.

EllaOne has drawn criticism from anti-abortion groups, which say the drug is closer to an abortion pill than emergency contraception.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company