The debate about morning after contraception is unlikely to be resolved soon. Court cases are still pending for pharmacists who object to selling the morning after pill because they believe it to conflict with their religious and/or ethical beliefs. In the mean time, a new morning after pill has been made available in Europe that is said to have a better track record for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.
So far only available in Europe and by prescription, the new drug, ellaOne, appears to be longer lasting and more effective than the currently available Plan B birth control. In a recent study of 1700 women half were given Plan B and the other half ellaOne after having unprotected sex. The study found that the instance of pregnancy in the Plan B group was 2.6 percent while the rate in the ellaOne group was 1.8 percent.
The study also found that unlike Plan B, which must be taken within three days, ellaOne appeared to produce consistent results when taken up to five days after women have unprotected sex. The drug works by delaying ovulation until the egg is released from the ovary.
While ellaOne is years away from being made available without a prescription, it is likely to continue the debate in the United States for pharmacists who object to selling the drug by prescription or over the counter.