Thanks to my Facebook feed I found this news story last night and am sharing it with you to raise the alarm; the Plan B or Morning After Pill, an emergency contraceptive available over the counter at the pharmacy here in Canada, and in many other places like the USA and Europe, is COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE for women over 176lbs. For those of you keeping track, that's pretty much average size for most segments of the female population 'round the world. From Mother Jones:
The European manufacturer of an emergency contraceptive pill identical to Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, will warn women that the drug is completely ineffective for women who weigh more than 176 pounds and begins to lose effectiveness in women who weigh more than 165 pounds. (...) Data for the years 2007 to 2010 show the average weight of American women 20 years and older is 166.2 pounds—greater than the weight at which emergency contraceptive pills that use levonorgestrel begin to lose their effectiveness. The average weight of non-Hispanic black women aged 20 to 39 is 186 pounds, well above the weight at which these pills are completely ineffective. A CDC survey published in February found that 5.8 million American women used emergency contraceptive pills from 2006 to 2010.
My question is; how the fuck do you make a pill that is completely ineffective for fat women and not realize it? Is this just a glaring example of fat bias? The thinking that fat women aren't having sex, therefore they couldn't possibly need emergency contraception? And the solution isn't even to just make the dosage larger-the people behind this pill have literally NO IDEA how to fix the problem except to recommend 'alternate forms of emergency contraception', except there ISN'T ONE. If your condom breaks, you miss a pill, you're raped or whatever, going to the pharmacy and grabbing Plan B is the ONLY WAY to prevent a pregnancy from happening. Getting an IUD inserted might work, but that'll cost you hundreds of dollars in the States and you'll need to make an appointment to get it done. You have, at most, 72 hours post sexy times to do that, so good luck.
I've used Plan B once when I was heavier than I am now; walked to the pharmacy, grabbed the box, paid, went home, followed the instructions and had total peace of mind. Millions of women around the world have now been robbed of that peace, thanks to their size. This is completely unacceptable, but what do we DO about it? One place to start is contacting Teva, who makes Plan B, and let them know we want and need a product that works for us. That's money in their pocket which is a win-win situation. It's not enough to just change the packaging telling us fat ladies "Sorry, this wont work for you." Make us something that DOES work.
Vice President, Corporate Communications, Teva Pharmaceuticals
Plan B One-Step® Information Center at 1-800-330-1271.
Teva Women's Health, Inc.
ATTN: Plan B One-Step® Marketing Team
41 Moores Road
Frazer, PA 19355-1133