Even if virtual clinics want to keep dispensing the pills, they may run into an issue with the two major US manufacturers, Danco Laboratories and GenBioPro. They would not give the pills to mailorder pharmacies to mail, unless the Biden administration issues an enforcement discretion notice, telling them that they’re allowed to do that, saysDrexel University law professor David Cohen, referring to an FDA policy in which the agency does not take action against the dissemination of unapproved drugs if there are extenuating circumstances.
The FDA declined to comment on whether it would exercise enforcement discretion in regards to mifepristonebymail distribution.
There are backup plans in place if mifepristone becomes unavailable for US telehealth providers.
Before that decision, virtual abortion clinics accounted for 4 percent of abortions in the US after the decision, the number rose to 11 percent, according to astudy from the Society of Family Planning.
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The ground shifted for abortion pill providers on April 8, when a ruling fromJudge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas invalidated the US Food and Drug Administrations approval of mifepristone, one of the two drugs commonly used in a twostep medication abortion.
It also directly conflicted with a ruling made the same day by Judge Thomas Rice of the Eastern District of Washington, directing US authorities to preserve access to the medication.
Wednesday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appealspartly overruled Kacsmaryk, ordering that mifepristone remain legally availablebut it also overturned mifepristone dispensation by mail in states where it was previously legal.
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