Pratigya Campaign for gender equality and safe abortion carried out a research in 2019 on the 'Availability of medical abortion (MA) drugs in four states of India' which revealed a stark shortage of the drugs among chemists in two of the four states - Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The main reason for the shortage as pointed out by a majority of chemists was 1 legal barriers around stocking of MA drugs. To understand the situation in key states, Foundation for Reproductive Health Services India, a Pratigya Campaign partner undertook the second phase of the study in six states - Assam, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. This report highlights the key findings of the second phase of research, articulates the implications and proposes recommendations to address the issues concerning medical abortion access in India.
The study aims to understand the availability of MA drugs in the context of on-going efforts to address gender-biased sex-selection and overregulation of MA drugs in the market. The research involved an assessment of MA drugs availability among a sample of chemists (retail pharmacies) in urban areas of the six states.
Objectives of the Study- 1. To verify and understand the current status of availability of MA drugs in the market, 2. To understand the key reasons for stocking/not stocking of MA drugs, 3. To assess chemists' knowledge on the product (primary use, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules on dispensing etc.) and actual practice related to the MA drugs sales, 4. To understand chemists' experiences/interactions with the state & district drug authorities related to sales & distribution of medical abortion drugs in their outlet.
Chandrashekar, VS, Choudhuri, D and Vajpeyi, A. FRHS India, 2020, Availability of Medical Abortion Drugs in the Markets of Six Indian States, 2020.