n has been around for 20 years, and is a safe alternative to surgical abortion for many pregnant people. However, despite their the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has very strict requirements about how and where these pills are accessed; many states also require that the first of the pills, mifepristone, be swallowed in the physical presence of the prescribing clinician. The FDA also mandates that only clinics - and not pharmacists - dispense mifepristone.
Critics of these regulations allege that they create to safe abortion, particularly for people in rural areas, people with disabilities and other people who might have trouble getting to a clinic. They point out that are routinely dispensed in pharmacies. The regulations’ supporters cite safety concerns around pharmacists filling prescriptions for mifepristone, though , and the support treating it like other drugs.
obtained special permission for clinicians at eight trial sites to provide eligible patients with a prescription for mifepristone (and the second medication, misoprostol), which they would then fill at a partnering pharmacy. Patients completed surveys about their experiences two days and two weeks after their abortion.
Over 91 percent of study participants reported that they were somewhat or very satisfied with their pharmacy experience, and, of those who had had previous medication abortions, 81 percent said that getting their medications from the pharmacy was the same or better than getting them from the clinic. Two weeks later, 62 percent of participants said that they would prefer to have abortion medications called into the pharmacy, and 28 percent said that they would be fine with obtaining them at either the pharmacy or clinic. Some participants expressed that the pharmacy gave them more control over their abortion experience, because it let them start the process on their own schedule, rather than the clinic’s.
Overall, this study supports the case for loosening the regulations around medication abortion access, and specifically allowing abortion medication drugs to be dispensed by pharmacists. The FDA that their plans to reconsider their regulations on mifepristone.