JnJ's Ortho unit comments on Micronor

CLEVELAND, (Reuters) - Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of drug maker Johnson and Johnson , said Friday that its Micronor product was a birth control pill and not an ``emergency contraception'' often called a ``morning after pill.''

On Thursday, The American Center for Law and Justice, a law firm that focuses on religious rights issues, filed a law suit in Cincinnati against giant retailer K-Mart Corp. for firing a pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control medication known as ``the morning after pill.''

The filing said the plaintiff, former K-Mart pharmacist Karen Brauer, ``refused to dispense a product called 'Micronor'...based on her knowledge that said product possesses a prominent abortifacient mechanism of action.''

On Friday, Theresa Welsh a spokeswoman for Raritan, N.J.- based Ortho-McNeil said ``Micronor is a birth control pill indicated only for contraception. In addition, it is the only birth control pill in the United States labeled as a safe option of contraception for breast-feeding mothers.

``There are products approved for emergency contraception, but Micronor is not one of them. In fact, the products approved for emergency contraception contain a different progestin than that contained in Micronor.''

K-Mart officials were not available to comment on the suit.