AmerisourceBergen will continue to provide access to the abortion pill mifepristone to all 50 US states despite reports to the contrary.
The Pennsylvania firm is the sole distributor of the drug, which makes up half the cocktail needed for a medical abortion.
The firm plans to supply it to pharmaceutical giant Walgreens, which last week promised 21 Republican-led states it would not distribute the pills after coming under pressure from Republican officials. Walgreens currently does not dispense mifepristone anywhere.
Mifepristone is at the center of a landmark case for abortion rights, as anti-abortion activists hope to see its regulatory approval withdrawn, effectively banning it across the country.
Despite a report to the contrary on Wednesday, AmerisourceBergen confirmed to DailyMail.com that it will not be removing the pill from the reported states.
Medical abortion has been a lifeline for women in blue states and even red states since the Supreme Court struck down the federal guarantee for an abortion.
More than a dozen states have restricted access to abortions following the repeal of Roe V Wade
DailyMail.com initially contacted the firm for comment at 11:48 a.m. EST via its online portal.
He replied to the comment at 3:38 PM. distribute to certified care retail sites in states where consistent with law.
“AmerisourceBergen does not and should not make value-based clinical decisions or judgments about the FDA-approved products it distributes.”
Asked if a report by Vox Media that it would no longer distribute the pills in 31 states was inaccurate, he said: “Yes, the January information reported by Vox is outdated and inaccurate.”
“We are deliberately (and legally) not going to go into detail about which customers we are/are not shipping to and prefer to keep the language in our statement.”
Mifepristone makes up half of the combination used to induce a medical abortion.
When used in combination with the stomach ulcer medicine misoprostol, it has been shown to be safe and effective in terminating a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks.
Medically induced abortions make up the majority of abortions performed after the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down federal protections for the procedure last summer.
In early 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that pharmacies could fill prescriptions for the pills.
Since then, CVS and Walgreens, among the two largest drugstore chains in the United States, have unveiled plans to dispense the drugs after overcoming regulatory hurdles.
Walgreens, which has nearly 9,000 US stores, announced it would stop distributing the drug in 21 states last week, in a move that angered abortion advocates.
Republican lawyers for the states sent letters to CVS, Rite Aid, Albertsons, Costco, Kroger and Walmart, pressing them to make such a move.
In response, Danielle Gray of Walgreens’ legal team said: ‘As you know, in order to obtain FDA certification, participating pharmacies must meet a number of safety and risk mitigation requirements to dispense this medication.
“We are currently working through the certification process, which includes evaluating our pharmacy network to determine where we will dispense mifepristone and training protocols and updates for our pharmacists.”
It’s unclear if these same pressures also prompted AmerisourceBergen’s decision, or what communication the company had with Republican officials.
It is not clear if the list of 31 states that will not receive the pills still stands.
The distributor has not responded to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.
Meanwhile, Walgreens reaffirmed to DailyMail.com that it would dispense mifepristone in all states where abortion is legal as soon as it is certified to do so per FDA requirements.
Previously, mifepristone could only be dispensed by a physician in person at a subset of specialty offices and clinics due to safety concerns.
Despite expanded regulatory access to mifepristone, a contentious court battle in Texas currently threatens its availability in the US.
United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas Matthew Kacsmaryk is expected to rule at any time on whether or not mifepristone, the first part of a two-pill regimen, will lose FDA approval.
Mifepristone is taken first and works by dilating the cervix and blocking the effects of the hormone progesterone, which is necessary to maintain a pregnancy.
About 24 hours later, the patient takes misoprostol, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers that causes the uterus to cramp and contract, causing bleeding and expulsion of the pregnancy tissue.
Judge Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, who has aligned himself closely with far-right ideology.
The case in question is the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. US FDA, first brought late last year to challenge the FDA’s 2000 approval of Mifeprex.
It was introduced by the anti-abortion group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The group argues that the drug’s safety was not properly verified when it received approval 23 years ago.
The ADF also argues that the drug’s approval is nullified by the Comstock Act of 1873, which prohibits the sale of immoral or indecent products through the mail.
They argue that the law should make it illegal to send the drug through the mail, and the FDA’s approval to do so should be withdrawn.
A move to revoke the FDA’s approval would surely be immediately appealed by abortion rights activists.
But, the fifth circuit court of appeals that would hear the case is also very politically conservative.