January 9, 2023
Walgreens and CVS on Wednesday said they plan to sell the abortion pill after the U.S. Federal Drug Administration relaxed its rules on January 5 on where patients can buy the drug. In addition, Rite Aid it is reviewing the FDA action and will comply with federal and state law, reports USA Today.
The announcements from the pharmacy chains come one day after the FDA said any certified mail and brick-and-mortar pharmacy can dispense the abortion pill mifepristone. Patients will still need a prescription but will no longer be required to pick it up in person at a doctor’s office or clinic.
Mifeprex (mifepristone) and its generic Mifepristone Tablets, 200 mg (collectively mifepristone) are approved, in a regimen with Misoprostol, to end an intrauterine pregnancy through ten weeks gestation (70 days or less since the first day of a patient’s last menstrual period). The FDA first approved Mifeprex in 2000 and approved a generic version of Mifeprex, Mifepristone Tablets, 200 mg in 2019.
Mifepristone is used to dilate the cervix and block the hormone needed to sustain a pregnancy. Mifepristone is followed up with a second medication called Misoprostol that causes the uterus to contract and expel tissue.
CVS and Walgreens will need to get certified in the FDA’s program before they can begin selling the drug, and the new rule won’t change access for those in states where abortion is restricted.
Independent pharmacies also have expressed interest in dispensing the abortion pill, according to Ronna Hauser, senior vice president of policy and pharmacy affairs at the National Community Pharmacists Association, which represents about 19,400 independent pharmacies nationwide.
Research contact: @USATODAY