In a statement, the FDA said it is willing to meet with any pharmaceutical company that may want to switch its product to over-the-counter status.
A few other obstacles stand in the way of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' recommendation becoming reality.
The battle to make emergency contraception available without a prescription was long and full of political pitfalls, Moore said. The first application to allow Plan B to be sold over the counter was denied; after about three years of debate, permission was given only for women over the age of 17.
"Any company is looking at the way the FDA handled emergency contraception and saying, 'I'm not taking that bait,' " Moore said.
Even if a company were to step forward, this would be "uncharted territory" for the FDA, Grossman notes. The agency has never approved a chronic over-the-counter medication -- one that's taken daily for an unlimited amount of time. (Although consumers sometimes take aspirin or antacids daily, they are not labeled for that kind of use.)
There will also undoubtedly be arguments against the recommendation, whether they stem from fears over encouraging risky behavior, concerns about about patient adherence or religious beliefs.
Still, Grossman said, consumers could see birth control medications sold over the counter in less than five years.
"It is a pretty bold move on the part of ACOG," he said. "I really respect that the organization decided to make this statement after reviewing all the evidence. It's not very common where you hear a physician organization say, 'We think there should be a change so that our patients don't have to see us anymore.' "