President Barack Obama said Thursday he was "very comfortable" with the Food and Drug Administration's approval of Plan B for teens 15 and older, citing research from the Department of Health and Human Services, despite remaining opposed to lifting all age limits for purchasers of the pill.
The FDA's approval for teens to buy Plan B came after an application from the pill's maker, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, an Israel-based pharmaceutical company that is no stranger to Washington.
In 2011 and 2012, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Teva spent $5.74 million lobbying Washington, according to the Sunlight Foundation's Influence Explorer. It lobbied most frequently on issues related to copyright and patents; medicare and medicaid; labor, antitrust and workplace; and trade. In the fourth quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013, the company also lobbied specifically on access to contraceptives, including Plan B.
Teva, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Whispers, also contributed more than $320,000 to both lawmakers and political action committees over those two years.
The largest contribution, of $23,500, went to Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which oversees legislation related to health and the FDA. Teva may have also courted Casey, a pro-life senator, to argue that Plan B was an effective form of early intervention.
The four members of Congress to which Teva contributed most heavily were all from Pennsylvania, whose Montgomery County, located northwest of Philadelphia, is the home of Teva's U.S.-based headquarters.