Vending Machine Morning-After Pills Investigated by FDA
A vending machine that dispenses morning-after pills to students at a university in Pennsylvania is under federal investigation after local media got wind of its existence. According to Reuters, the Food and Drug Administration is attempting to determine whether authorities at Shippensburg University are breaking federal requirements by supplying the Plan B emergency contraception through an unregulated vending machine.
U.S. requirements dictates that any female under the age of 17 must have a prescription for the morning-after pill. Typically, that means that pharmacists keep the emergency contraceptive behind the counter so they can check for I.D. before selling the drug, but Shippensburg said it already verified that all students at the university are of age.
“You cannot be a 13-year-old and walk in and get it,” said school spokesman Peter Gigliotti. He added that the vending machine is located in the student health center, which prevents non-students from obtaining the drug.
Roger Serr, vice president for student affairs at the small state university, said the vending machine had been in place for two years before anyone questioned its legitimacy. After local media got wind of its existence, however, the vending machine made headlines and sparked the current FDA investigation.
“We are working to gather the facts now, including contacting Pennsylvania state authorities and the university,” an FDA spokeswoman told Reuters.