Coming Up With a Plan for Plan B

Discussion
Aug 25, 2006
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By George
Anderson


Now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally approved the non-prescription sale of the Plan B or “morning after” pill, what will it mean for the retailers who sell it?


According to the FDA ruling, stores may now sell Plan B to women 18 or older without a prescription. A prescription is still required for girls 17 and younger. Actual over-the-counter (OTC) sales of the product will not happen until the FDA approves the packaging and insert warnings for the product.


Amy Niemann, vice president, proprietary marketing for Plan B at Duramed (a unit of Barr Pharmaceuticals), told USA Today that the product could be available for OTC sale as soon as Nov. 1. Ms. Niemann’s company expects annual sales of Plan B to double (up to $70 million) once it goes OTC. A single package of two pills now sells between $25 and $40 as a prescription medicine.


Discussion Question: Now that Plan B is finally set
to go OTC, what does that mean in practical terms for retailers?

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9 Comments on "Coming Up With a Plan for Plan B"


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Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 6 months ago

Plan B sales will zoom, they will not just double.

Furthermore, Plan B won’t just be purchased when needed. And men will buy it, too. The price is low enough that people can keep an emergency dose at home “just in case.”

Leon Nicholas
Guest
Leon Nicholas
14 years 6 months ago

In practical terms, the products will need to be tagged with theft-detection devices. Theft rate will be higher than for pregnancy tests.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
14 years 6 months ago

Expect to see an army of folks jump with glee,

Now that they can go to the store and get Plan B.

But how will retailers keep condom sales rising,

As Plan B molds mindsets with new plans devising?

Leonard Edloe
Guest
Leonard Edloe
14 years 6 months ago

Hopefully, pharmacists will step forward and provide the necessary patient education for this product. FDA in this action has created a new class of drugs and, hopefully, pharmacists will see this as any opportunity to move the profession forward. The drug is safe but there could be side effects and those who use this as their only form of contraception put themselves at risk for many diseases.

Kunal Puri
Guest
Kunal Puri
14 years 6 months ago

Isn’t Plan B supposed to be kept behind the Pharmacy counter as vs. on the shelf?

To my knowledge – based on a news segment last night – it is to be kept behind the counter and dispensed by a pharmacist after checking proof of age.

Jeff Weitzman
Guest
Jeff Weitzman
14 years 6 months ago

I expect retailers will have to be prepared for the PR storm as well, on both sides. There will inevitably be protests and articles in local newspapers with pictures of 18 year olds perusing the Plan-B selections in their stores, interviews with store managers, moms, church leaders, etc.

Retailers may want to consider a little messaging training for their store managers and some guidelines about who should speak to the press on this subject.

Chris Brown
Guest
Chris Brown
14 years 6 months ago

If you think the theft rate on home pregnancy tests is high, wait until the Plan B is placed on the shelf! Better add more security. I think we will pass on stocking it.

Lucretia Garcia
Guest
14 years 6 months ago

I’m very concerned about this medication being available OTC. My feeling is that it needs to be dispensed by a pharmacist under a doctor’s prescription. There have been a few deaths associated with its use and the liability could become huge if not monitored by the health care industry.

John Lansdale
Guest
John Lansdale
14 years 6 months ago

Divide expected sales by price and you get about 1 million – many will be repeat sales. In a nation of close to 300 million, that’s not much effect on anything.

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