Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Study Shows Ohio Medication Abortion Law Increases Costs and Side Effects Without Improving Safety

Rewire (August 30, 2016): Patients 'Throwing Up in the Parking Lot' Under Ohio Abortion Law, by Nicole Knight:

A new study analyzing an Ohio law regulating medication abortion found that "[t]here is no evidence that the [law] led to improved abortion outcomes.  Indeed, our findings suggest the opposite."  In 2011, Ohio passed a law requiring that abortion providers adhere to FDA guidelines from 2000 when administering drugs for a medication abortion. It is common for doctors to prescribe medication "off label," and at the time Ohio passed the law, the FDA guidelines were actually inconsistent with prevailing medical standards of care.  In March, the FDA changed its guidelines to make it consistent with medical best practices.

The study compared the medical charts of women in the years before and after the Ohio law went into effect.  The study found that after the law was passed, the number of medication abortions declined 80% and the patients that had medication abortions under the state requirements suffered more side effects and paid more for the two-drug regime.  Under the Ohio law, doctors are required to administer three times the dose of mifepristone than is advised by current medical evidence.  The increased dosage and a state required extra visit to the abortion provider drove the cost of the procedure up 29%.

Despite the changes to the FDA protocol earlier this year, the Ohio law still remains in effect.

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