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FDA Postpones Barr Labs Ruling

The company says regulators will rule on its Plan B pill at a later date after no action last week.

Women will have to wait a bit longer to find out if they can buy an emergency contraceptive, nicknamed the morning after pill, without a doctor's prescription.

The maker of the contraceptive,

Barr Pharmaceuticals


, said late Friday afternoon, after markets had closed, that the Food and Drug Administration had missed its deadline to rule on the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B. Barr said the FDA didn't offer a specific date except to say the FDA would review the application "in the near future."

Shares were down 4 cents at $47.05.

Barr said it "remains optimistic" that the agency will approve Plan B as an over-the-counter product for women 16 years and older. Younger women would need a prescription.

The drug has been

embroiled in political controversy; and the FDA's delay prompted the Center for Reproductive Rights, a group that advocates, among other things, safe and affordable contraception, to sue the FDA Friday night in federal court. The group said the agency's delay violated federal law and its own procedures.