Bloomberg News

FDA Won’t Be Held in Contempt Over Plan B Order, Judge Rules

December 16, 2011

(Updates with judge’s comment in second paragraph.)

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration won’t be held in contempt for ignoring a federal order concerning emergency contraceptive Plan B, a judge ruled.

“I’m not going to hold the FDA in contempt,” U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn, New York, said today in denying a motion by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

In 2009, Korman told the FDA to reconsider whether Plan B and related generic drugs should be available without a prescription to girls under age 17. The FDA issued its ruling yesterday after today’s hearing on the contempt motion was already scheduled.

“The FDA has refused to give a fair and scientifically based report,” Suzanne Novak, senior staff attorney at the center, told Korman today at the hearing.

Last year, the Manhattan-based center, which had sued the FDA, said the agency failed to take up the issue and should be found in contempt. Yesterday, the FDA blocked unrestricted access to generic copies of the emergency contraceptive, affirming a move last week requiring girls under age 17 to have a prescription for the brand-name drug.

The case is Tummino v. Hamburg, 05-cv-366, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

--With assistance from Sarah Frier and Patricia Hurtado in New York and Anna Edney in Washington. Editor: Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Thom Weidlich in Brooklyn, New York, federal court at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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