State Issues Guidance for Pharmacies to Ensure Access to Reproductive Health Medications

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy (BORP) issued clarifying guidance to all pharmacies in the Commonwealth that, as an essential part of the healthcare system and under its regulatory obligations, all pharmacies and pharmacy departments are required to stock and/or procure all reproductive-health medications, including Mifepristone (Mifeprex), and dispense those medications pursuant to a valid prescription and/or order.

“Here in Massachusetts, we will always protect access to reproductive care, including abortion,” Gov. Maura Healey said. “At a time when states are rushing to ban medication abortion and some pharmacies are irresponsibly restricting access to it, we are reminding Massachusetts pharmacies that they have an obligation to provide critical reproductive-health medications, including Mifepristone. It’s safe, effective, and legal.”

Twenty attorneys general around the country have signed letters calling on pharmacies in their state to refuse to distribute Mifepristone, an FDA-approved abortion medication.

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes access to abortion as a fundamental right and as a basic healthcare service which those in the healthcare system have an obligation to provide and support,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh said. “We urge pharmacy providers nationwide to commit to making all reproductive-health medications available based on state and federal laws.”

Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke added that “our regulations require pharmacies to stock and/or procure all prescriptions necessary to meet the needs of the community, and we interpret that to include all reproductive-health medications, including Mifepristone. This is consistent with our standards as they relate to other basic though controversial medications, including naloxone.”