Mondo News

All of the latest tech and science news from all over the world.

CVS and Walgreens Plan to Offer Abortion Pills Where Abortion Is Legal

The two chains said they would begin the certification process under a new F.D.A. regulation that will allow retail pharmacies to dispense the prescription pills for the first time.

The chains, CVS and Walgreens, said they planned to seek certification to sell the pill, mifepristone, the first pill used in the two-drug medication abortion regimen. Patients will still need a prescription from a certified health care provider, but the new federal action could significantly expand access to medication abortion because it allows any pharmacy that agrees to accept those prescriptions and abide by certain other criteria to dispense the pills in its stores and by mail order.

The pharmacy chains did not provide details about when they expected to be able to offer the pills, in which states or whether they would offer them only in stores or via mail order, or both. They said they would comply with laws in states that ban or restrict abortion, currently about half of the states.

“We plan to seek certification to dispense mifepristone where legally permissible,” Amy Thibaut, a spokeswoman for CVS, said.

A spokesman for Walgreens, Fraser Engerman, said in statement: “We intend to become a certified pharmacy under the program. We are working through the registration, necessary training of our pharmacists, as well as evaluating our pharmacy network in terms of where we normally dispense products that have extra F.D.A. requirements and will dispense these consistent with federal and state laws.”

The steps for pharmacies to become certified to dispense mifepristone are not difficult, but they involve some administrative requirements that go beyond the process pharmacies use with most other medications, such as designating an employee to ensure compliance.

For chains like CVS and Walgreens, the most logistically intricate step might be the requirement that pharmacies keep confidential the names of the certified health providers who prescribe mifepristone to protect their privacy and safety.

To fulfill that requirement, a chain like CVS would not be able to list a doctor’s name in a companywide database, for example, and would have to keep that information restricted to the store that fills that doctor’s prescriptions, according to an official with Danco Laboratories, one of the two makers of mifepristone, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the company’s concerns about threats from abortion opponents.

The second drug in the regimen, misoprostol, has never been as tightly restricted as mifepristone and is used for many different medical conditions. It is easily obtained at pharmacies through a typical prescription process. Misoprostol, which causes contractions that expel pregnancy tissue, is taken 24 to 48 hours after mifepristone.

Category: Science

Source: NYTimes Science

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: