Choice will start selling abortion pills to people who aren’t pregnant so they can store them for future use, the reproductive healthcare startup announced Wednesday.
The company will only offer the service, also known as “advanced provisioning”, in US states where it is licensed to operate – California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine and New Mexico – which all currently allow abortion.
“Abortion is so stigmatized and politicized that people who access abortion care, even in states where it’s legal, come to us with that added sense of anxiety about whether they’ll be allowed to have it. abort,” said Cindy Adam, chief executive of Choice. . “Advanced delivery really helps alleviate that stress and puts the power back in the hands of the person seeking care.”
Choice sells the two-pill cocktail on a sliding scale between $175 and $289. To receive the drugs, patients must complete a questionnaire that looks for allergies or conditions that would make treatment inadvisable. They then sign consent forms before the pills are shipped along with educational materials, Adam said. When patients finally need to use the pills, they can get a telehealth consultation with a Choice medical provider up to 11 weeks into their pregnancy.
Choice limits each patient to one prescription until the pills have been used or the kit expires. Mifepristone has a shelf life of about 5 years and misoprostol, the other diet pill, stays fresh for about 2 years. The company’s forms ask patients to confirm that they will only use it for themselves.
More than half of all abortions in the United States are performed using pills, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. Late last year, the Food and Drug Administration made permanent a pandemic-era rule that allowed mifepristone to be sent by mail. However, many states restrict how the pill can be prescribed and dispensed. Nineteen states require the presence of a doctor when administering the pills.
In a December editorial, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco argued for greater availability of the “advanced provision” for the abortion pill in the United States. “We consider the advance provision of a medical abortion to be an important addition to the menu of options people should have to access a safe, early abortion,” the researchers wrote.
In June, Choix, French for “choice,” said it raised $1 million in venture capital. The startup has provided abortion care to more than 6,000 people, Adam said.
The company joins a range of services and associations offering medical abortion by mail order. Aid Access, which sends pills to a patient’s home from abroad, began providing an advance supply in the United States late last year. Meanwhile, Hey Jane, another venture capital-backed telehealth company that sends abortion medication, raised $3.6 million in seed funding.
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