One Step, One Option: Plan B Monopolizes OTC Pills

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Summer has been an exciting time for Plan B, commonly known as the morning-after pill. Last month, the Obama administration announced that the original 17 and older age restrictions for the purchase of the drug would be lifted, making it available to women of all ages, without a prescription or an ID. Now, the drug's manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, has been granted full marketing rights by the Food and Drug Administration. This news means that Teva is now the only company that can sell the drug over-the-counter to consumers. These marketing rights will last for the next three years.

While this is good news for the drug maker, it's less so for the consumer: Plan B One-Step is priced at $50, whereas generic brands may cost $10 to $15 less. Since the marketing rights are initially set at the next three years, generic brands can appeal to have their product sold in the aisles at pharmacies across America, but will have to wait until this exclusivity runs out.

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