The Another

    Abortion pill supply problems raise fears of limited access in France



    Misoprostol tablets at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Rockville, Maryland, on April 13, 2023.

    Just like amoxicillin and pediatric paracetamol this winter, it is now an abortion pill that is subject to supply issues in France. Several organizations have sounded the alarm throughout April to raise awareness of difficulties encountered by some pharmacies in ordering misoprostol, a drug necessary for abortion, which is possible up to nine weeks of amenorrhea, which amounts to seven weeks of pregnancy. “Why don’t the administrations and the government respond to the concerns of those working in the field?” asked the Observatory for Transparency in Medication Policy (OTMeds) in a press release on Monday, April 17.

    Health Minister François Braun responded in the media on Wednesday, saying on RMC radio that “it has never been impossible to access this drug,” while acknowledging that “it has been a little more difficult in some places.” “If it is not available in pharmacies, (…) the centers that perform abortions have boxes available,” he said. The minister additionally added that “since the beginning of the month, we have restocked the entire market, there is now three months’ stock.”

    According to the protocol established by the National Authority for Health (HAS), medically-induced abortion comprises two steps: First, taking a tablet of mifepristone, a synthetic steroid that will stop the pregnancy, and then 36-48 hours later, a pill of misoprostol, which causes the contractions necessary for the expulsion of the embryo. Misoprostol is also used prior to non-medicinal abortions, and in cases of miscarriage. Currently, only two misoprostol-based products are marketed in France, both manufactured by the Nordic Pharma laboratory – GyMiso and Misoone.

    Deliveries in progress

    At the end of 2022, the laboratory alerted the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) – which monitors drug supply issues in France – of manufacturing delays for GyMiso, which have led to a greater use of MisoOne. “As a result, it is not always the same product that has supply issues, sometimes there’s a shortage of one, sometimes the other,” explained Pierre-Olivier Variot, president of the Association of Pharmacists’ Unions.

    Read more Article reserved for our subscribers Drug shortages in France are impacting patient recovery

    In a statement issued Thursday, the Health Ministry explained that 46,500 boxes of GyMiso have been delivered since April 7, enough “to fill outstanding orders,” although there are still problems with boxes containing a single tablet of MisoOne, those sold in pharmacies. “These problems will quickly disappear, thanks to deliveries in progress (45,000 boxes) starting this week,” the ministry added.

    You have 45.53% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

    Source link