The Observatory of transparency in drug policies, as well as health professionals, are alarmed by a shortage of misoprostol, a molecule used for medical abortions, on French territory.
- The Observatory of Transparency in Medicines Policies (OTMeds) warns of a risk of shortage of misoprostol, an essential molecule for carrying out medical abortions.
- This Saturday, the president of Family Planning, Sarah Durocher, also sounded the alarm in the newspaper Liberation about “difficulties in the supply of mifepristone-type abortion pills”.
- OTMeds also regrets the lack of transparency in the management of this shortage by the French health authorities.
While the threat of its ban agitates the United States, France could soon be partially deprived of the abortion pill RU 486 (mifepristone). On its website, the Observatory of Transparency in Medicines Policies (OTMeds) warns of a risk of shortage of misoprostol, an essential molecule for carrying out medical abortions.
“These alerts constitute an obstacle for people who want an abortion”
This Saturday, the president of Family Planning, Sarah Durocher, also sounded the alarm. in the newspaper Release about “difficulties in obtaining abortion pills such as mifepristone”. Just like the actors in the field (associations fighting for the right to abortion, liberal doctors and midwives, etc.), who were not listened to by the authorities, according to OTMeds. According to the observatory, the first alerts date from March 5, but they found no echo except “silence, wait-and-see attitude and amateurism” of the Minister of Health, François Braun.
“These alerts are worrying because they constitute an obstacle for people who want to have an abortion”worries Sarah Durocher, still in daily life. “French law provides that anyone who wishes to have an abortion can choose the method (depending on the time frame), but today this is no longer the case”she adds.
Mifepristone: lack of transparency in the management of the shortage
OTMeds also regrets the lack of transparency in the management of this shortage by the French health authorities. Jérôme Martin, co-founder of the observatory, underlines, still in the columns of Release, that it is indeed very complicated to assess the extent of misoprostol supply disruptions. For example, in Lille, while misoprostol-type abortion pills were sold out in early April, “the situation seems to have since been restored [..] without knowing how”continues the association manager. “Does the pill come through the normal circuit again? Has there been a rebalancing between regions?he asks himself.
In its press release, as well as in the interview granted to Liberation, the OTMeds however provides potential explanations for the shortage: the patent surrounding the manufacture of misoprostol and the fact that its production is concentrated on a single site. “If there is an industrial concern, an impurity on one of the sites, few or no factories can take over. Production is therefore slowed down for weeks, even months”, specifies Jérôme Martin to Liberation.