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The Looming Threat to Mifepristone: How the Supreme Court Could Limit Access to Safe and Effective Medication

Health Experts Raise Concerns About Supreme Court’s Limitations on Abortion Pill Access

The Looming Threat to Mifepristone: How the Supreme Court Could Limit Access to Safe and Effective Medication

The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments to overturn the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, a medication that has been in use for over 20 years. The court is also considering rolling back the changes made in 2016 that aimed to make it easier for patients to access the drug. Health care attorney and managing partner at Nelson Hardiman, Harry Nelson, expressed concern over the idea that the FDA’s decisions could be overruled by federal courts, calling it “profoundly radical.”

Mifepristone is one of two drugs that the FDA approved to be taken together for medication abortion. This drug, which is only approved for patients up to 10 weeks pregnant, impacts progesterone, a hormone crucial in menstruation and pregnancy. Despite controversy over its approval, Ushma Upadhyay, a professor and public health scientist at the University of California San Francisco, cited over 100 peer-reviewed publications and 20 years of evidence demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of medication abortion.

In addition to being used for medication abortions, mifepristone is also utilized for miscarriages, uterine fibroids, and Cushing’s syndrome. Patients without access to mifepristone may have to resort to using misoprostol alone or undergo more invasive procedures, which come with greater health risks. If certain court decisions are made, it could impact the drug approval process and potentially limit access to medications deemed safe and effective.

Recent research has shown an increase in self-managed medication abortions following the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. Telehealth abortion has played a crucial role for patients who are pressed for time due to the FDA’s 10-week limit. The outcome of this Supreme Court case regarding mifepristone could have significant implications for the future accessibility of medication abortion and the broader drug approval process.

Health care attorney Harry Nelson expressed concern about federal courts potentially overruling FDA’s decision on mifepristone as “profoundly radical.” If such a decision were made it would impact not only mifepristone but also other medications that are currently approved by FDA.

Professor Ushma Upadhyay cited numerous studies showing that mifepristone is safe and effective even after 20 years of use.

The potential overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to an increase in self-managed medication abortions through telehealth services.

The Supreme Court case regarding mifepristone will determine if patients will continue to have access to this important medication used in both medication abortions and other medical conditions.

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