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Abortion pill distributor sees no surge or shortages after Roe v. Wade overturned: ‘We are very confident in our position’

June 28, 2022, 6:14 PM UTC

The provider behind the abortion pill Mifeprex says it’s ready for whatever comes after the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last Friday, removing the constitutional right to abortion. 

Last week, before the ruling, Danco Laboratories predicted it would have adequate supply to handle a rush of women seeking self-managed abortions. “We are prepared for any surge,” a company spokesperson told ABC News. “Our supply is stable and plentiful.”

Now Danco, which distributes the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone under the brand name Mifeprex, said it has yet to experience shortages and maintains it can handle any post-Roe demand, reports Bloomberg. 

“We are very confident in our position to be able to meet whatever surge in demand may come up especially in those states that become safe haven[s] for women in banned states,” Abby Long, a spokesperson for Danco, told Bloomberg. 

For more than 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of mifepristone to end a pregnancy that is less than 10 weeks along. According to the FDA, the drug works by blocking the hormone progesterone and is typically followed by another medication, misoprostol, which causes cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus. 

More than half of U.S. abortions that took place in 2020 used abortion pills, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights research organization. 

The medication is currently not available over the counter, but Danco Laboratories told ABC it is working with federal regulators to allow pharmacies to carry the drug by the end of the year. Danco was the U.S.’s only provider of abortion pills until the FDA approved a generic version of mifepristone from GenBioPro in 2019. 

Neither Danco Laboratories nor GenBioPro responded to requests for comment from Fortune.

However, providers of telemedicine abortion care are anticipating and preparing for more demand to come. These services connect patients with medical providers for online consultations and send out abortion pills by mail, where state laws allow. 

Virtual clinic Hey Jane said that following the Supreme Court’s decision, its site traffic grew nearly 10 times, and patient demand more than doubled, compared to last month’s average. 

“This spike in interest demonstrates to us that people are increasingly curious about telemedication abortion as it becomes an exceptionally viable option in the wake of Roe’s overturn,” its CEO, Kiki Freedman, told Fortune.

The demand has come from “an increase in patients reporting that they’re coming to Hey Jane because of longer-than-expected appointment wait times” over the past few months due to restricted abortion access in states like Texas. The clinic is now treating 25 times more daily patients than 15 months ago, Freedman said. 

Another online provider of abortion pills, Just the Pill, said it received more than 260 requests following the ruling last Friday to Monday. Before, it typically received 20 to 25 requests a day. 

At the same time, pharmacies have seen a significant surge in demand for emergency contraceptives such as Plan B, causing Walmart, RiteAid, and CVS to cap the number a customer can purchase. 

“Due to increased demand, at this time we are limiting purchases of Plan B contraceptive pills to three per customer,” RiteAid told Fortune.

A spokesperson from Walmart said, “Many of our products have online purchase limits in place. During times of fluctuating demand, these limits may change.”

“Immediately following the Supreme Court decision, we saw a sharp increase in the sale of emergency contraceptives and implemented a temporary purchase limit to ensure equitable access,” CVS said. The pharmacy chain said Tuesday that sales for these products had returned to normal.

“We’re in the process of removing the purchase limits, which will take effect in-store and on over the next 24 hours. We continue to have ample supply of emergency contraceptives to meet customer needs,” a company spokesperson told Fortune. As of Wednesday morning, the original purchase limit of three was no longer in place for both Plan B and Aftera on its website.

June 29, 2022: This story was updated to include comment from CVS.

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