Teva Pharmaceuticals is waiting on a decision from the US Food and Drug Administration on whether it will end the age restriction on who can buy its Plan B emergency contraceptive pill without a prescription.

A decision made in favour of Teva’s request would mean the pill is sold over the counter to girls aged 16 and under. The ruling could be made today.

Teva Women’s Health vice-president Amy Niemann told the Wall Street Journal that the company was very hopeful that its application would be approved.

Plan B was approved in 1999 and as of 2009, the pill has been available to women aged 17 and older without a prescription.

The product, which can be taken up to three days after intercourse, contains higher doses of female hormone progestin than birth-control pills to block a potentially fertilised egg from becoming implanted in a woman’s uterus.