The FDA will allow retail pharmacies to sell abortion pills over the counter if they agree to certain rules.
From The New York Times:
Until now, mifepristone — the first pill used in the two-drug medication abortion regimen — could be dispensed only by a few mail-order pharmacies or by specially certified doctors or clinics. Under the new F.D.A. rules, patients will still need a prescription from a certified health care provider, but any pharmacy that agrees to accept those prescriptions and abide by certain other criteria can dispense the pills in its stores and by mail order.
The change comes as abortion pills, already used in more than half of pregnancy terminations in the U.S., are becoming even more sought after in the aftermath of last year’s Supreme Court decision overturning the federal right to abortion. With conservative states banning or sharply restricting abortion, the pills have increasingly become the focus of political and legal battles, which may influence a pharmacy’s decision about whether or not to dispense the medication.
The FDA listed the rules:
- Mifepristone must be prescribed by a health care provider that meets certain qualifications and is certified under the Mifepristone REMS Program.
- In order to become certified to prescribe mifepristone, health care providers must complete a Prescriber Agreement Form.
- The Patient Agreement Form must be reviewed with and signed by the patient and the health care provider, and the risks of the mifepristone treatment regimen must be fully explained to the patient before mifepristone is prescribed.
- The patient must be provided with a copy of the Patient Agreement Form and mifepristone Medication Guide (FDA-approved information for patients).
- Mifepristone may only be dispensed by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber, or by a certified pharmacy on a prescription issued by a certified prescriber.
- To become certified to dispense mifepristone, pharmacies must complete a Pharmacy Agreement Form.
- Certified pharmacies must be able to ship mifepristone using a shipping service that provides tracking information.
- Certified pharmacies must ensure mifepristone is dispensed to the patient in a timely manner.
The FDA authorizes people to take mifepristone during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Some people give it to females up to 12 or 13 weeks.
The pharmacies have to comply with states’ laws, too. That could affect availability in some states like Texas and Oklahoma.
A Tennessee law requires a female to have a physician with her “when abortion medication is administered.”
Indiana doesn’t allow chemical abortions after 10 weeks.
Texas doesn’t allow chemical abortions after seven weeks.
The FDA has never restricted misoprostol, the second drug in the cycle, “as tightly” as mifepristone. Doctors use misoprostol for other medical conditions.DONATE
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