Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that its oral emergency contraceptive, ella (ulipristal acetate 30 mg) is now available by prescription in the United States.


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Watson ships ella emergency contraceptive to pharmacies

December 1st, 2010

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that its oral emergency contraceptive, ella (ulipristal acetate 30 mg) is now available by prescription in the United States.

The company said Wednesday that ella delays ovulation for up to five days, which is also the length of time that sperm can live in the female genital tract, and can be taken at any time during the menstrual cycle.

Ella was approved by the Food and Drug Administration this summer as safe and effective in preventing unintended pregnancy for up to 120 hours, or five days, after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. Watson had announced in August that it planned to ship the product in the fourth quarter.

"Ella is the first truly new emergency contraceptive option for U.S. women since 1999. It has a unique sustained efficacy profile and offers women an additional therapeutic option for preventing unintended pregnancy," Fred Wilkinson, executive vice president of Watson Global Brands, said in a statement. "We are committed to making this innovative prescription-only emergency contraceptive option available to women as soon as possible and supporting the availability of ella in ways that emphasize education and access."

Waston said the ella launch will be phased over the next several months and will include physician educational initiatives, advocacy outreach and educational web sites for consumers.

"We recognize that women who may seek emergency contraception rely on a number of channels for information, including the Internet," Wilkinson stated. "We have built an informative web site, ella-rx.com, that provides information on emergency contraception, discusses the appropriate use of ella, and offers insight into the prevention of unintended pregnancy."

Because of the urgent nature of emergency contraception, timely access to ella will be imperative, Watson noted. Stocking efforts have ensured the product will be available immediately by prescription at most retail pharmacies and clinics, as well as online via www.KwikMed.com, a licensed online pharmacy, the company said. Women can complete an extensive, physician-approved online diagnostic assessment and consultation, after which ella may be prescribed by fully licensed physicians in real time and delivered overnight to an address of the woman's choice.

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