The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Thane region of India has filed a police complaint against e-commerce portal Meesho for selling abortion pills online without a prescription, the Free Press Journal reports. The complainant, additional commissioner of FDA Zone 7 Sunil Harishchandra Gawali, personally placed an order and had the product delivered via courier to his home, all without a prescription.
Gawali had previously sent a notice to Meesho on March 30th directing them to stop selling the abortion pill kits. However, he was still able to successfully place an order in early April.
The product was chillingly named the “Mankind Unwanted Kit,” and appears to be no longer available on Meesho’s website. “Mankind” is the apparent brand name, but referring to the pills themselves as an “Unwanted Kit” is callously apt.
READ: Woman’s death in India a reminder of ectopic pregnancy dangers with ‘no-test, self-managed’ abortion pill
According to the Free Press Journal, “the kit falls in the ‘Schedule H’ category under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 and it … should not be sold without a doctor’s prescription.” The pill packets also contained a notice that the product should be used as directed by a physician. “The drug label also states that the drug should be used under the supervision of a ‘Service Provider and in a Medical Facility’ as specified under MTP [Medical Termination of Pregnancy] Act 2002 MTP Rules 2003,” states the Free Press Journal. “However, the seller has violated all these guidelines while selling the product.”
Unlike the U.S. – where the abortion industry recently adopted a no-test protocol for the abortion pill, and the FDA made it permanently available by mail – India still has regulations regarding abortion pill dispensing which are designed to protect women’s health.
A woman must see a doctor in person and obtain a prescription before being given the abortion pill regimen; black market sales abound, however, which has led to tragedy. Indian health officials have stressed the need for these regulations and warned against abandoning them; however, both the United States and the UK recently abandoned these safeguards, putting greater access over women’s safety.
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