Pharmacy majors Walgreens Boot Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp. are planning to offer abortion pills after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided to allow retail pharmacies to sell the product in the United States, reports said.
On Tuesday, the agency announced a regulatory change allowing mifepristone, which is used in first-trimester abortions, to be dispensed by retail pharmacies, but they need to comply with the laws of the state they are located in.
As per the FDA website, Mifeprex (mifepristone) and its generic Mifepristone Tablets, 200 mg, collectively known as mifepristone, is approved to end an intrauterine pregnancy through ten weeks gestation. The FDA first approved Mifeprex in 2000 and a generic version of Mifeprex, Mifepristone Tablets, 200 mg in 2019.
Under the Mifepristone REMS Program, mifepristone must be dispensed by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber or by certified pharmacies for prescriptions issued by certified prescribers.
As per the FDA decision, pharmacies can apply to become certified to dispense mifepristone, and can offer the pill only after receiving a prescription from a certified health provider. Earlier, doctors were allowed to provide the pill.
Following the FDA announcement, Walgreens reportedly said that it is taking the steps to become a certified pharmacy.
Walgreens spokesperson said, “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 FDA requirements and will dispense these consistent with federal and state laws.”
A CVS spokesperson also said the company plans to seek certification to dispense mifepristone where legally permissible.
In the U.S. in 2022, Supreme Court ruling overturned Roe v. Wade, which established a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion for nearly fifty years. In some states, abortion remains legal, while others have banned abortion.
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