Given the number of sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that read "The Secretary shall...", today's single-handed overruling by the Secretary of Health and Human Services' Kathleen Sibelius of the FDA's recommendation to permit the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step to go over-the-counter based on years of scientific analysis, should put us on notice. Recall that Ms. Sibelius has no medical or scientific degree. To my knowledge, today's action is unprecedented.
Could the FDA, with their requirements for funding from pharmaceutical companies to review cases like this, have a conflict of interest in regards to their decision?
But such an autocratic, non-scientific veto by a single individual in charge of the entire United States' health care policy smacks of dictatorial power and should not be taken lightly by the scientific community or the citizens of this great country.