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UC Health statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s mifepristone lawsuit ruling

Following is a statement issued on April 21 by Carrie L. Byington, M.D., executive vice president of University of California Health, on rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s prior evidence-based approval of mifepristone:

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court ruled to block for now the lower court’s unsound ruling that questioned the FDA’s well-established regulatory authority for reviewing and approving drugs for the U.S. market.

“However, we are deeply troubled by the recent efforts to use the U.S. judicial system to undermine the role of science and evidence as the foundation for determining the availability of drugs for Americans. The FDA has demonstrated the effectiveness of its detailed, fact-based process for reviewing and approving drugs over many decades. Judicial activism should not determine what medications are available to Americans.

“If the legal challenge to the FDA’s authority is ultimately upheld, the uncertainty that would come from injecting judicial review into the drug evaluation process will cause instability in the availability of drugs, treatments and preventative measures Americans need and deserve to manage their health. We will continue working with state and federal leaders to ensure that our patients and students have the greatest possible access to the medications and treatments they need.

“For mifepristone specifically, a final decision causing it to be removed from the market would result in hundreds of thousands of people each year(1) losing access to a reproductive care medication that has proven safe and effective for more than 20 years.(2)

“The university believes all people should have access to affordable and convenient reproductive health care of their choosing. As part of the university’s public service mission, UC is committed to improving the health and wellness of all people in California. This includes helping people access evidence-based health care, such as medication abortions.”

(1) Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, “Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States,” 2020, Guttmacher Institute; “Medication Abortion Now Accounts for More than Half of All US Abortions,” 2/4/2022, Guttmacher Institute.

(2)Key Facts on Abortion in the United States,” 1/20/23, Kaiser Family Foundation; Abortion in the United States Dashboard, Kaiser Family Foundation.

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