Abortion pill access scuffles: 5 recent updates

After the FDA allowed some retail pharmacies to dispense medication abortion pill mifepristone and CVS and Walgreens said they're filling out the application, multiple states are either further restricting or expanding access. 

Pharmacies seeking certification to dispense mifepristone must ensure physicians who write the prescriptions are certified, prove patient forms can be emailed and faxed, and be able to ship and track the product, according to Providence Business News. Independent pharmacies interested in dispensing the pill are also tiptoeing around political and competitive interests, the outlet reported. 

Here are four recent developments part of the national discussion:

1. GenBioPro, one of the drugmakers that sells medication abortion, filed a lawsuit Jan. 25 against West Virginia's ban on the two-pill regimen. If the court rules in the drugmaker's favor, it could set a precedent for ending similar bans in other states, according to The New York Times. A similar suit was filed in North Carolina, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

2. Alabama's attorney general said people who take medication abortion — an FDA-approved regimen intended to end a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks — could be prosecuted in the state, The Washington Post reported Jan. 11. In a letter released Jan. 19, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and 21 other attorneys general urged the FDA to reverse its decision.

3. In a warning letter, the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration reminded physicians that distributing abortion pills is outlawed in the state. Indiana and Texas ban the use of the regimen after a specified number of weeks, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a left-leaning research group. 

4. New York City now offers free abortion pills at neighborhood health clinics, the city's mayor said Jan. 17. 

"For too long, health and healthcare has been centered around men, but that changes today," Mayor Eric Adams said during a press conference. "We have been standing on the sidelines of women's health for too long, and I have personally seen firsthand how the health system is letting our women down. It is long overdue that we break taboos and make New York City a model for the future of women's health care."

5. Before the FDA's allowance, a conservative legal group in Texas filed suit against the regulatory agency for its approval of mifepristone, The Hill reported Jan. 18. In response, the FDA said "public interest would be dramatically harmed" if the drug, which has been available for 22 years, was pulled.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars