Health Care: FDA Says Morning After Pills Are Not Abortion Drugs

Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates this time of year! While he may be dealing with the extreme cold brought on by the “bomb cyclone” hitting the country, kids can be sure that Santa will arrive on time, at least according to this military agency that tracks your movements.

Today in Health, the FDA updated the labeling and information for Plan B birth control products, and the agency called attention to how the “morning-after” pill works and specified that it does not cause abortions.

Welcome to Night Medical Care, where we follow the latest policy moves and news that affect your health. For The Hill, we are nathaniel weixel Y joseph choi. Subscribe here.

Programming note: We’ll take a break next week. We wish you a Happy New Year and we will be back on January 3!

FDA updates Plan B labeling, says it’s not an abortion pill

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Friday that it had approved a request from the creators of Plan B to update how information about the drug is presented.

  • Along with several changes, the agency specified that Plan B does not cause abortions.
  • “Plan B One-Step prevents pregnancy by targeting ovulation, which occurs long before implantation. The evidence does not support that the drug affects implantation or maintenance of a pregnancy after implantation, therefore, it does not terminate a pregnancy,” the FDA said.

Levonorgestrel, better known under the brand name Plan B One-Step or colloquially as the morning-after pill, is an over-the-counter medication used to prevent the possibility of pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or when birth control methods have failed or they were not used. .

How does it work: Plan B prevents pregnancy by temporarily delaying the release of an egg from an ovary, thereby preventing an egg from being fertilized by sperm. The medication works best when taken within three days of unprotected intercourse, and the manufacturer advises that it works better the earlier it is taken.

The pill does not work if someone is already pregnant and will not terminate a pregnancy, the new packaging says.

Read more here.

Study Finds Lack of Inclusion in OB/GYN Research

All racial and ethnic representation in obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) research is suboptimal, according to the authors of a new analysis in 1,300 clinical trials and more than 1,100 clinical trial publications.

Both clinical trials and scientific publications inform how medical professionals deliver clinical care, but unrepresentative and homogeneous research can negatively impact obstetrics and gynecology care, the authors wrote in the report.

“We know that the reporting and representation of race and ethnicity in research are critical parts of health equity, public health, and social justice,” study lead author Jecca Steinberg said in a statement. . release. Steinberg is a resident physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

  • Among all the subspecialties analyzed, trials on obstetrics and family planning were the most diverse and may serve as a model for the field, the authors suggested.
  • However, gynecology studies were significantly less likely to report race and ethnicity data than obstetrics studies.

Of the included clinical trials, 51 percent reported data on race and ethnicity, and three-quarters of the publications did the same. Trials conducted between 2007 and 2020 were included in the study, along with publications from 2007 to 2021.

Although American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black, and Latino groups were underrepresented in trials and publications, underrepresentation varied by subspecialty, funder, race, and ethnicity.

Read more here.


New York University’s (NYU) emergency department has been accused of providing special treatment to a variety of high-profile personalities, including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.), according to a report from The New York Times.

The times spoke to 45 medical workers and reviewed internal hospital records and other confidential documents to report that the NYU ER has provided priority care to donors, trustees, politicians, celebrities, and friends and family for years.

According to the report, Room 20 is reserved for patients whose lives are at risk and those who are VIPs:

  • Schumer’s wife came down with a fever and shortness of breath in the spring of this year and the two went to the NYU emergency room.
  • The sickest patients received care in the hallway, but Schumer and his wife were ushered to room 20, where they quickly received tests for COVID-19, which came back negative, according to the Times.
  • Kenneth Langone, a major donor to the NYU hospital system and the center’s namesake, had a stomach ache in September 2021. Medical workers told the Times that Room 20 was left empty for him, and he was quickly taken to the room and was treated for a bacterial infection on arrival.

NYU Langone denied to the Times that VIPs receive priority treatment, but 33 workers told the outlet that they had seen such patients receive priority treatment in Room 20, which is one of the largest private spaces in the emergency department.

Read more here.


Target recalled more than 200,000 children’s weighted blankets Thursday after two girls reportedly became trapped inside one and died of suffocation in the spring.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the big box chain announced the withdrawal of 204,000 Pillowfort weighted blankets, citing a safety risk if a child unzips and climbs into the blanket.

  • In April, a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl were trapped inside the cover of a heavy blanket and suffocated to death at Camp Lejeune, NC, the agency said.
  • Target has received four reports of children becoming entangled in the product, including that one case.

Both CPSC and Target are urging consumers to stop using the weighted blankets and return the products immediately. Pillowfort Weighted Blankets weigh 6 pounds and measure 60 inches long by 40 inches wide.

Read more here.

How to Mentally Prepare for Christmas Gatherings

In recent years, the added scrutiny and typical family conflicts have been accompanied by pandemic fears, and this holiday season, with COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and flu circulating, is no different.

Psychiatrist Ravi Shah offered some advice on how to mentally prepare for social and family gatherings in a conversation with The Hill’s Changing America team:

Plan what you will do if someone gets sick

  • Shah advises following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and making a plan for how and where members of your group can isolate if they start to have symptoms or test positive, as well as a quarantine plan for people who they have been exposed.
  • This plan could include alternative or adapted activities in case someone is unable to fully participate. If there is a way to meet safely outdoors and distanced, that might be a good option.

temperament expectations

  • “The holidays are a time to socialize and be with others,” Shah said. But those meetings are rarely, if ever, perfect, and you shouldn’t expect them to be, he says.
  • “What we should expect … when you bring families together a handful of times a year is that they’re going to have conflicts like any relationship,” Shah said. “The question is not really about that. It’s more about how we handle them.” Moderating your expectations can help give you and your family members a little respite.

Read more here.


  • Omicron’s XBB subvariant jumps to 18% of US COVID cases, CDC says (Reuters)
  • The United States reaches more than 100 million cases of COVID-19. Experts say it is likely underestimated (ABC News)
  • Influenza activity in the US continues to decline after the initial surge (Statistics)


  • Colorado considers changing its red flag law after a mass shooting at a nightclub (Kaiser Health News)
  • UCSF apologizes for experiments conducted on prisoners in the 1960s and 1970s (Los Angeles Times)
  • Take care of your buds! Nebraska health departments issue a salmonella warning (wow)

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s healthcare page for the latest news and coverage.

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