The National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) has authorized the commercialization of the abortion drug mifepristone.
ANMAT’s decision is the latest step to improve access to the drug, which has been considered an essential drug by the World Health Organization since 2005. It was approved on March 7 and the Health Ministry announced the decision on March 8, International Women’s Day.
According to the ANMAT, the approval for its commercialization is part of the government’s efforts to comply with the abortion law passed in 2020.
Mifepristone is taken in combination with misoprostol to end a pregnancy. The combination is 97% effective during the first 63 days of pregnancy.
This authorization means mifepristone can be distributed and sold in pharmacies and throughout Argentina’s public, social security, and private healthcare systems.
Santa Fe province’s Industrial Pharmaceutical Laboratory (LIF) is developing the public production of mifepristone, and in 2022 the Buenos Aires Province’s Health Ministry signed an agreement with the National University of La Plata for its production.
The National Health Ministry started to distribute the combined treatment of mifepristone and misoprostol through the REMEDIAR program in 2022. It was aimed at provincial sexual and reproductive health programs and public health centers and hospitals that guarantee abortions throughout the country.
According to the government, from 2020 to 2021 there was a 40% decrease in maternal mortality due to pregnancies ending in abortion, after abortion was legalized on December 30 2020. Maternal deaths linked to “medical abortion, other abortion, unspecified abortion and unsuccessful attempted abortion” fell from 13 in 2020 to 9 in 2021.