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FDA Ignores Petitions, Stays Course on Abortion Pills

Petitions from both pro and anti-abortion groups were denied by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

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According to an article from The Hill, the FDA has denied two citizen petitions pertaining to access to mifepristone, aka the abortion pill. Petitions came from both sides of the aisle, including a conservative group looking to restrict the drug’s use as well as a medical group looking to extend its use for a new indication. The agency’s denial means it will maintain its stance on abortion pills. First approved in 2000, mifepristone is used in combination with misoprostol during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy for termination. 

Anti-abortion group Students for Life asked the FDA to revert prescribing rules to require the drug to be administered in-person only, and only after three office visits. During the pandemic, the FDA loosened rules to allow the drugs to be sent out via mail. They also asked the FDA to restrict use to the first seven weeks of pregnancy, instead of 10. The requests were denied as they were the same requests the group presented in 2019.

The second petition denied was from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which asked for a new indication to make it clear that the drug can be used safely to help reduce miscarriage complications. However, only the drug’s manufacturer can submit an application for label changes and the applicant must show that the drug is safe and effective. 

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