FDA FUs Plan B

Evangelical Christianity trumped science again on May 6, when George W. Bush's Food N Drug Administration rejected over-the-counter status for Plan B, the powerful little emergency-contraception pill that is 89 percent certain to stop unwanted pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

The attempt to make Plan B available over the counter had the backing of the FDA's own research staff and an overwhelming majority of the FDA's advisory committee, plus it got a big thumbs-up from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association and more than 75 other organizations.

Apparently, that wasn't enough for Dr. Steven Galson, the current FDA director, who claims the agency didn't have enough information on whether use of the drug would increase unprotected sexual activity among young girls. “From [ages] 11 to 14, where we know there are substantial amounts of sexual activity, there were no data in the application,” Galson said. In other words, he made emergency contraception unavailable for millions of women because of the off chance it might encourage young girls to have more sex.

In California and four other states (Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington), the news isn't all bad: in each, local law makes Plan B available through specially trained pharmacists. Everywhere else, women are required to get a doctor's prescription. That could take time, of course—if you're working with an HMO, maybe forever—and Plan B is most effective in the first three days.

Plan your unplanned sex accordingly.

The best advice: get your Plan B now, and keep it close by. Then get an extra dose and mail it to your girlfriend in Missouri. You can find it on the Internet (visit go2planb.com for links) or at the following local pharmacies (call ahead to make sure the pharmacist is available):

ANAHEIM ALPHA DRUGS, 1240 S. Magnolia Ave., (714) 220-0373; MEDICAL ARTS REXALL, 1120 W. La Palma Ave., Ste. 1, (714) 776-2800; PHARMACY PLUS, 1012 N. Euclid St., (714) 956-3741; SAVON DRUGS, 2360 W. Lincoln, (714) 778-3123; THE MEDICINE SHOPPE, 2795 W. Lincoln Ave., Ste. K, (714) 995-0071; THE PHARMACY, 3055 W. Orange Ave., Ste. 108, (714) 995-4161. ANAHEIM HILLS PAVILLIONS PHARMACY, 8010 Santa Ana Canyon Rd., (714) 282-7056. BUENA PARK A-PLUS PHARMACY, 6888 Lincoln Ave., Ste. J, (714) 821-7788; BESTCARE PHARMACY, 5317 Beach Blvd., (714) 670-7979. COSTA MESA COSTA MESA PHARMACY AND COMPOUNDING CENTER, 275 Victoria St., Ste. 1-F, (949) 642-0106. CYPRESSRITEAID, 4037 Ball Rd., (714) 821-1750. FULLERTON COSTCO PHARMACY, 900 S. Harbor, (714) 738-7532; RALPHS PHARMACY, 1121 N. Harbor Blvd., (714) 992-6313. GARDEN GROVE GILBERT DRUGS, 9240 Garden Grove Blvd., Ste. 20, (714) 638-8230; KIM PHARMACY, 9828 Garden Grove Blvd., Ste. 101, (714) 534-4555. HUNTINGTON BEACH BEACH PROFESSIONAL PHARMACY, 17742 Beach Blvd.; Ste. 100, (714) 848-4447; BOLSA MEDICAL ARTS PHARMACY, 6552 Bolsa Ave., (714) 897-2541. IRVINEWALNUT VILLAGE PHARMACY, 14433 Culver Dr., (949) 551-4343. LA HABRA BIRITE QUALITY PHARMACY, 340 N. Harbor Blvd., (562) 691-0539; CENTRAL DRUGS, 520 W. La Habra Blvd., (562) 691-6754 ; WALGREENS, 101 W. Imperial Hwy., (714) 447-9576. LA PALMA LAPALMA TOWERS PHARMACY, 5451 La Palma Ave., Ste. 17, (714) 522-7791. LAGUNA HILLS WALGREENS, 24081 El Toro Rd., (949) 206-9632. LAGUNA NIGUEL COSTCO PHARMACY, 27220 Heather Ridge Rd., (949) 389-8702; COSTCO PHARMACY, 27972 Cabot Rd., (949) 364-0601; RALPHS PHARMACY, 27871 La Paz Rd., (949) 360-0201; WALGREENS, 27982 La Paz, (949) 360-8215. LONG BEACH RALPHS PHARMACY, 3380 Los Coyotes Diag., (562) 425-9673. MISSION VIEJOTOWER PHARMACY AND COMPOUNDING CENTER, 26732 Crown Valley Pkwy., Ste. 101, (949) 364-1200. NEWPORT BEACH CALIFORNIA PHARMACY AND COMPOUNDING CENTER, 307 Placentia Ave., Ste. 102, (949) 642-8057; HILL PHARMACY, 1441 Avocado, (949) 640-6564. ORANGEWATSON DRUG, 116 E. Chapman Ave., (714) 532-6315. SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO SAN JUAN PHARMACY, 31901 Camino Capistrano, (949) 493-4559. SANTA ANA BRISTOL DRUG, 1302 W. Santa Ana Blvd., (714) 953-6866; MEL-RICH PHARMACY, 1745 W. 17th St., Ste. A, (714) 558-0131; ROSE PHARMACY, 1220 Hemlock Way, Ste. 110, (714) 662-0548; WALGREENS, 3000 S. Bristol St., (714) 427-3986. SEAL BEACH CORNER DRUG STORE, 302 Main St., (562) 431-1421. VILLA PARK VILLA PARK PHARMACY, 17821 Santiago Blvd., (714) 998-3030. YORBA LINDA COSTCO PHARMACY, 22633 Savi Ranch Pkwy., (714) 279-1580.

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