Monday, October 10, 2005

FDA Adviser Resigns Over Plan B Handling

WASHINGTON - A consultant to a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has resigned in protest of the agency's handling of the Plan B contraceptive.

Dr. Frank Davidoff, editor emeritus of the Annals of Internal Medicine, said the agency is ignoring science in favor of politics in delaying approval of the drug for over-the-counter sales.

He was a member of the FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee when it voted to approve Plan B for over-the-counter sales in 2003, and had served as a consultant to the committee since his term ended earlier this year.

Davidoff is the second person to publicly resign over Plan B. In late August, the top women's health official at FDA, Susan Wood, also resigned in protest. Former FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford has also since resigned.

Plan B, which can be used as emergency, morning-after contraception, is opposed by some religious conservatives.

The committee Davidoff was on is one of several scientific advisory committees that provide the FDA with an independent assessment of new drugs.

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