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January 4, 2023

Around the nation: FDA updates 'morning after' pill's label

Daily Briefing

    FDA recently approved an updated label for the Plan B "morning after" pill that says the medication does not prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, Maryland, and Oregon.

    • Arizona: The Arizona Court of Appeals last week issued a ruling that prevents abortion doctors from being prosecuted under an 1864 law that criminalizes most abortions. Under the ruling, doctors can't be prosecuted for performing abortions because of other state laws allowing the procedure. According to the ruling, "[t]he statutes, read together, make clear that physicians are permitted to perform abortions" as codified by established abortion laws. "This is a monumental victory," said Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. (Habeshian, Axios, 12/30)
    • Maryland: FDA recently approved an updated label for the Plan B One-Step "morning after" pill that says the medication does not prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. Previously, the FDA-approved label for the "morning after" pill explained that the medication worked by stopping the release of an egg or by preventing fertilization of an egg by sperm. However, the label also suggested that the medication could prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus. Last month, FDA updated the label to clarify how the medication works. "Plan B One-Step works before release of an egg from the ovary. As a result, Plan B One-Step usually stops or delays the release of an egg from the ovary. Plan B One-Step is one tablet that contains a higher dose of levonorgestrel than birth control pills and works in a similar way to prevent pregnancy," according to the updated label. (McGinley/Bernstein, Washington Post, 12/23)
    • Oregon: Oregon on Sunday became the first state to legalize the use of psilocybin—a psychedelic that has shown promise for the treatment of several mental health conditions, including severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life anxiety. While scientists are still trying to understand the therapeutic dynamics of psychedelics, they are believed to promote neuroplasticity. Under Measure 109, Oregon authorized the establishment of psilocybin service centers where individuals over the age of 21 can legally consume psychedelics under the supervision of a state-certified facilitator. "Psychedelic medicine is starting to transcend partisan politics in a way that few issues have," said Sam Chapman, executive director of the Healing Advocacy Fund, a nonprofit organization that supported the measure and has been assisting with its implementation. "It's our responsibility to create a golden standard that's worthy of wider implementation." (Jacobs, New York Times, 1/3)

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