Mail-Order Mifepristone Effective, Feasible for Medication Abortion

Mail-order pharmacy dispensing of mifepristone after in-person screening effective, with low prevalence of serious adverse events
Mail-Order Mifepristone Effective, Feasible for Medication Abortion
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, May 13, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Mail-order pharmacy dispensing of mifepristone for medication abortion is effective, acceptable, and feasible, according to a study published online May 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Daniel Grossman, M.D., from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues estimated the effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of dispensing mifepristone for medication abortion using a mail-order pharmacy in a prospective cohort study including 11 clinics in seven states. Eligible participants were seeking medication abortion at 63 or fewer days of gestation. After in-person screening assessing eligibility for medication abortion, mifepristone and misoprostol were prescribed using a mail-order pharmacy.

Clinical outcome information was obtained and analyzed from 510 abortions among 506 participants. Medications were received within three days for 436 (85.5 percent) of these abortions. In 499 cases (97.8 percent), complete abortion occurred after medication use. The researchers found that 24 adverse events (4.7 percent) occurred for which care was sought for medication abortion symptoms; serious adverse events requiring hospitalization were experienced by three patients (0.6 percent), but no adverse events were associated with mail-order dispensing. Overall, 90.4 percent of 477 participants indicated that they would use mail-order dispensing again for abortion care and 91.2 percent reported satisfaction with medication abortion. Findings were similar to those of studies reporting in-person dispensing.

"This study adds to the substantial body of evidence supporting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to remove the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone," the authors write.

One author served as an expert witness in cases challenging abortion restrictions, including restrictions on telemedicine.

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