Some Patients Report Being Denied Autoimmune Drugs over Abortion Fears
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, a woman in Virginia and a doctor in Chicago say that access to a drug widely used for treating autoimmune disorders is being restricted over abortion concerns.
Methotrexate is used to treat both cancer and various autoimmune disorders. The American College of Rheumatology describes it as “one of the most effective and commonly used medications in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of inflammatory arthritis, and also may be used to treat lupus, inflammatory myositis, vasculitis, and some forms of childhood arthritis.”
But it’s also used in an obstetric context to terminate ectopic pregnancies, which are pregnancies that result from an embryo implanting in tissue outside the uterus. These nonviable pregnancies are “a significant cause of pregnancy-related mortality and morbidity” and the “leading cause of hemorrhage-related mortality,” according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Since the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision that overturned Roe, one female lupus patient in Virginia and a rheumatology doctor in Chicago say that access to methotrexate has been hindered.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Becky Schwarz, a woman with the autoimmune disorder lupus, was denied her regular Methotrexate refill by her rheumatologist, who directly cited “the reversal of Roe v. Wade.” Lupus can cause symptoms ranging from joint pains to a butterfly rash on the face, fevers, fatigue, hair loss, chest pain, and sores. To make matters more confusing, Schwarz lives in Virginia—a state where abortion is currently legal with no restrictions up to the end of the second trimester.
“i’ve never had an abortion but my access to healthcare has changed because Roe was overturned.” Schwarz tweeted. “in less than one week i lost access to healthcare that i need because the drug cou
Article from Reason.com