FDA Looking At 'Morning-After' Pill Machine

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: February 7, 2012

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is gathering facts about a vending machine at a Pennsylvania college that dispenses the "morning-after" pill.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Yao said Tuesday that the agency is contacting officials with Shippensburg University and in state government.

The Plan B One Step emergency contraceptive can prevent pregnancy if taken soon after sexual intercourse. It's legally available without a prescription but must be kept behind the pharmacy counter.

Shippensburg officials note that access to the vending machine in the student health center is restricted.

Some experts also note there are problems with giving people open access to a drug like the Plan B without having to talk to a doctor.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Students at a Pennsylvania university can obtain the "morning-after" pill from an unusual source -- a vending machine at the campus health center.

The vending machine at Shippensburg University's Etter Health Center provides the Plan B emergency contraceptive along with condoms, decongestants and pregnancy tests.

Vice President for Student Affairs Roger Serr says the machine was installed after a request from the student association and a survey found 85 percent of student respondents supported it.

Plan B is available without a prescription to anyone 17 or older.

The drug isn't covered or subsidized by the school. Instead it is supplied for $25, the school's cost to the pharmaceutical company and less than at off-campus pharmacies.

Shippensburg is a public school of about 8,300 students about halfway between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

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