Public Health Service
Date: April 23, 1997
From: Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs
Subject: OPA Program Instruction Series, OPA 97-2: Emergency Contraception
To: Regional Health Administrators Regions I-X
On February 25, 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing that certain regimens of combined oral contraceptives are safe and effective for postcoital emergency contraception when initiated within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. This action is based on the FDA's review of the published literature concerning postcoital use of currently available oral contraceptives, knowledge of the safety of oral contraceptives as currently labeled, and on the unanimous conclusion of the FDA Advisory Committee on Reproductive Health Drugs, which met on June 28, 1996, to consider the safety and efficacy of this contraceptive option.
According to Section 1001(a) of the Title X statute and Section 59.5(a)(1) of the Title X regulations, family planning projects must offer a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods. In considering the range of methods that will be offered in a special family planning project, Title X grantees should consider the availability of emergency contraception the same as any other method which has been established as safe and effective.
As with all other prescriptive contraceptive methods, emergency contraception must be prescribed in accordance with medically accepted protocol, and in accordance with a sliding fee scale that is based on the actual cost of providing the service. Resources attached may be helpful in developing protocols for providing emergency contraception.
- ACOG Practice Patterns on Emergency Oral Contraception, Number 2, October 1996.
- Federal Register, Vol. 62, No. 37, Tuesday, February 25, 1997, "Prescription Drug Products; Certain Combined Oral Contraceptives for Use as Postcoital Emergency Contraception."
- Gynetics Announcement of Intent to Market "Yuzpe Method" of Emergency Contraception in 1998.