The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will change the label for mifepristone, abortion-inducing pill. The step will make it easier for women in some states to carry out the procedure, under the supervision of the provider.
Earlier, the FDA recommendations included a 49-day window for a woman to have access to the initial dose of mifepristone after her last menstrual cycle, along with a dose of misoprostol, another abortion-inducing drug. Both drugs were required to be taken in a provider’s office.
As per the new labeling, the size of the initial dose and the window to take the same has been increased to 70 days. As per the recommendation, the second drug can be taken at a place found suitable for the patient.
Susan F. Wood, associate professor of health policy at George Washington University, was of the view that the earlier recommendations were outdated. In fact, the latest changes reflect what is already going on clinical practice.
Last year, the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health has estimated 240,000 drug-induced abortions in 2011 in the US out of 1.06 million in total. FDA guidelines for the use of drugs are not binding. Abortion providers have said that they have made drug-induced abortion more expensive and difficult to obtain.
A quarter of abortions are drug-induced, estimated. Advocates are happy and applauded federal officials for their efforts to ensure contraception coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The FDA has also warned that mifepristone marketed as Mifeprex can cause side effects including heavy bleeding and nausea. Sometimes, serious and fatal infections and bleeding can take place.
The news has come at a time when the debate over the drug formerly known as EU-486 has been raging for decades. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that the latest steps reflect the current scientific evidence and best practices.