Mifepristone (RU-486®) as a Schedule IV Controlled Drug-Implications for a Misleading Drug Policy on Women's Health Care.
BACKGROUND: Mifepristone (RU-486) has been approved for abortion in Taiwan since 2000. Mifepristone was the first non-addictive medicine to be classified as a schedule IV controlled drug. As a case of the "misuse" of "misuse of drugs laws," the policy and consequences of mifepristone-assisted abortion for pregnant women could be compared with those of illicit drug use for drug addicts. METHODS: The rule-making process of mifepristone regulation was analyzed from various aspects of legitimacy, social stigma, women's human rights, and access to health care. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The restriction policy on mifepristone regulation in Taiwan has raised concerns over the legitimacy of listing a non-addictive substance as a controlled drug, which may produce stigma and negatively affect women's reproductive and privacy rights. Such a restriction policy and social stigma may lead to the unwillingness of pregnant women to utilize safe abortion services. Under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US FDA's action on mifepristone prescription and dispensing reminds us it is time to consider a change of policy. CONCLUSIONS: Listing mifepristone as a controlled drug could impede the acceptability and accessibility of safe mifepristone use and violates women's right to health care.
Hsieh, Y-P; Wang, Y-J; Feng, L-Y; Wu, L-T; Li, J-H
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