Special mozzarella cheese is a brand. A collection of natural-gas storage terminals. And America’s best-selling emergency contraceptive.
At a time when half the states in the United States are ready to reduce abortion services illegally or drastically, the last-ditch pill aimed at stopping an unwanted pregnancy for women remains in the unlikely stewardship of two private equity firms whose investment portfolios range from baby food to Italian food. Vineyard management
Kelso & Co. And Juggernaut Capital Partners bought Plan B One-Step from Teva for নে 675 million in 2017 as the Israel-based pharmaceutical giant sells its global women’s healthcare business. In the years that followed, the drug became the most widely used over-the-counter emergency contraceptive in the United States and – at an average price of $ 45 per dose – one of the best-selling over-the-counter drugs sold in the United States.
The Foundation, a company owned by Consumer Healthcare, Kelso and Jugarnet that sells Plan B, has been able to aggressively market the product while under the radar of anti-abortion activists and Republican lawmakers who have denounced it as another form of abortion.
But women’s continued access to the company’s stewardship and Plan B has become a matter of urgent concern because of the religious belief that life begins before implanted fertilized eggs in the womb gains legitimacy as a legitimate legal value among Republican lawmakers in the state capital and Congress. If the Supreme Court reverses a leaked draft decision Rowe vs. Wade When does pregnancy begin – which is after implantation – Republican-controlled legislatures may declare Plan B and abortion devices or IUDs as abortions.
States that enact legislation to grant “individual rights” to fertilized eggs, embryos and embryos will open a new frontier in the law that indicates options available to pregnant women and those who do not wish to become pregnant. States to consider such a move include Alabama, Missouri and Kansas.
Complicating that political battle, women’s health advocates say the foundation has failed to correct old words on consumer health care and FDA product labels that have led to widespread misinformation about how Plan B works.
The language in question, as part of Plan B’s “Drug Facts”, warns that the pill could prevent “attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus.” But numerous studies have shown that Plan B is not a method of action, a hormone drug that delays ovulation and can prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, research has shown that Plan B does not harm existing pregnancies.
That packaging language is cited, however, to justify regulations in at least nine states that exclude Plan B from government family planning programs and contraceptive coverage mandates or allow pharmacists to refuse to sell Plan B on ethical grounds.
2014 US Supreme Court ruling Barwell vs. Hobby Lobby Store The ruling, citing the FDA’s Webpage on Plan B, found that family-owned corporations with religious beliefs for health insurance coverage for contraception violated federal law protecting religious freedom.
Similarly, a bill before Congress that would require veteran affairs benefits to cover all types of contraceptive costs for female veterans has been postponed due to opposition to Plan B inclusion. “The Plan B pill kills a fetus once. A woman is already pregnant, “said Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.), A US envoy. “VA should not pay for abortion.”
European authorities sought to remove the language from Plan B packaging sold in those countries in 2015, and this was rejected by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the American Medical Association.
The Foundation Consumer Healthcare needs to petition the FDA for a similar label change in the United States – a move that women’s health advocates say is a long wait.
Susan Wood, a professor of health policy at George Washington University and former director of women’s health at the FDA, said, “The FDA is not going to change this unless companies come up with data and ask for a change of label.” A label will be updated “directly because there is human data that shows it works before ovulation.”
“It’s the company’s responsibility,” he added.
The Foundation Consumer Healthcare, in an email response to a list of questions from KHN, declined an interview and said it would not comment on sales statistics, discussions with the FDA, or investment plans.
“FCH’s goal is and always will be to increase Plan B One-Step: Emergency Contraceptive Education and availability for women across the country,” the company wrote. “We work with a variety of partners so that everyone understands how the product works and when it should be taken, and with retailers to make sure the product is available in all major retail stores.”
The FDA also declined to comment, citing regulations that protect “privacy of commercial information.”
Encouraged by the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision Rowe And before Texas’ decision to allow a six-week abortion ban, lawmakers in several Republican-led states are already openly considering emergency contraception and a ban on the IUD.
The labeling issue of Plan B was introduced in 2006 as an over-the-counter pill. When the plan-owned pharmaceutical company, Bar Pharmaceuticals, sought FDA permission to sell it over-the-counter, the attempt met with opposition. From anti-abortion forces, according to historical accounts, as well as interviews with those involved. That force included a member of the scientific advisory panel that reviewed the application. Dr. Joseph Stanford, a Mormon physician who believed that life begins with fertilization, argued that there was a remote possibility that Plan B could prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support that claim, the company has agreed to list the post-fertilization process in the packaging as a way to approve the application.
The seemingly innocent surrender paid dividends to abortion opponents, coding in official documents a system that would be used to blur the line between contraception and abortion, said Christopher Chogluick, an assistant professor of ethics at New Mexico Tech. History of emergency contraception.
It is difficult to evaluate the investment of Foundation Consumer Health Care in Plan B: private equity firms are required to disclose only limited information, obscuring their activities and holdings.
But pharmaceutical industry analysts say the business is clearly profitable. Emergency contraceptives are relatively inexpensive, says Samantha Miller, co-CEO of Cadence Health, a biopharmaceutical company that is developing over-the-counter birth control pills. And consumers are mostly young women who buy over-the-counter pills even if they – or their parents – have health insurance.
Between 2013 and 2015, 22% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 who have ever had sex reported using at least one emergency contraceptive pill, up from 4% in 2002, according to a KFF analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Private equity firms typically raise funds from institutional investors, often focusing on generating short-term revenue. When Kelso and Jugarnet Capital acquired Plan B in 2017, the campaign to end federal abortion rights, Cresting, after decades of legal challenges, made the purchase of the country’s most popular emergency contraceptive an exciting option. “Private equity feels like a possibility where weak people are involved,” said Eileen Appelbaum, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Interestingly, the largest investor in the two Kelso funds invested in the Foundation Consumer Products is the Louisiana Teachers’ Retirement Scheme, one of at least 13 states that has trigger laws that prohibit abortion. Rowe Fall
Other investors in the anti-abortion state include the University of Houston System Endowment and the Houston Police Officers Pension System.
“With customers buying Plan B, it can be very good for their investors regardless of their level of comfort from Plan B,” said Aileen O’Grady of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, a company that studies the complex holdings of private equity.
Miller and other industry experts say the foundation could maintain its বি 45 average price tag for Plan B because of its market dominance. Dima Kato, an associate professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Southern California, says low-cost generic emergency contraceptives are available, mainly online. But Plan B’s distribution system with National Pharmacy, Walmart and Target has locked out most of the competitors.
“People don’t use generics, and in many places they don’t carry them,” Kato said. “You want to make sure it works. There’s a choice for the brand.”
Nevertheless, if a Supreme Court decision allows states to criminalize abortion and certain contraceptives, then the investment in Kelso and Jugarnet must be hampered. States oversee pharmacy laws, leaving room for legislatures to allow pharmacies to refuse to provide emergency contraceptives.
“Texas and other states will claim it’s like an abortion pill,” Kato said, “and they’ll say you can’t sell it.”
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