This week, health care providers in Florida received a letter from state officials warning them to continue to abide by the state’s abortion laws, following the FDA’s relaxation of rules on abortion drug prescribing.
According to News4JAX, the letter from the Florida Health Care Authority cites several state laws that regulate access to abortion drugs. For example, the notice highlights a law stating that “[n] no pregnancy shall be terminated at any time except by a [licensed] medical practitioner.”
The agency’s notice also highlights “It is unlawful for any person to perform or assist in performing an abortion on a person, except in an emergency care situation, except in a validly licensed hospital or abortion clinic or physician’s office.”
Furthermore, the notice makes it clear that violations of these laws may result in criminal penalties and that the state will turn over “any evidence of criminal activity” to local law enforcement, News4JAX Report.
The FDA recently made changes to Mifeprex regulations to allow patients the option to purchase abortion pills at brick-and-mortar retail pharmacies. Mifepristone is an abortion drug that can be used to terminate an intrauterine pregnancy up to 10 weeks’ gestation.
Restrictions on abortion and access to abortion medication in Florida mean health care providers and pharmacists in the state can’t take them Daniel Grossman, MD, UCSF And Reproductive Health Advancing New Standards Director said they should take full advantage of the FDA’s recent changes and should be careful about changing their own practices.
“They need to take it very seriously,” he told MedPage Today. “Given these constraints, it is not possible to prescribe the drug at the pharmacy, have it picked up by the patient, or have it mailed directly to the patient.”
Grossman stresses that this is part of a long-term plan – many There has been a long-term trend in states to restrict access to abortion services, including with drugs such as mifepristone.
“Over the past 15 years—but even longer—a number of states have imposed increasingly strict restrictions at the state level, some of which States have now completely outlawed abortion,” Grossman said. “In those states where abortion is still legal, some of them still have these very strict restrictions.”
Because of the state focus on abortion, especially as Grossman said, FDA The regulations for fepristone have changed. Nationally, that’s not true,” Grossman said. “So doctors in those states won’t be able to take advantage of this advance. “
Nonetheless, residents of states with strict abortion restrictions, such as Florida, may still take action based on FDA changes to mifepristone in special circumstances.
For example, “if they’re close to the border of a state that allows prescriptions for mifepristone, maybe they can have a telehealth visit and pick it up across the border at the pharmacy,” Grossman said.
Michael DePeau-Wilson is a reporter for MedPage Today’s corporate and investigative team. He covers psychiatry, chronic COVID-19 and infectious disease, and other relevant US clinical news. Follow