The Supreme Court extended its stay on lower court rulings on mifepristone until Friday just before midnight, meaning that the drug will remain accessible and available at least until then.
The order, written by Justice Samuel Alito, came “upon further consideration of the application of counsel for the applicants, the response and the reply.”
The Court’s initial stay would have expired just before midnight Wednesday, bringing restrictions to the drug into action.
The Court is considering the Justice Department and a maker of mifepristone’s appeal of a decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which would reimpose restrictions on the drug that the Food and Drug Administration had lifted in recent years. They include only allowing the drug to be used for up to 49 days of a pregnancy on-label, and requiring multiple in-person trips to the doctor’s office. The ruling would also seem to nix the FDA’s approval of generic mifepristone altogether.
While the Supreme Court mulls the case, action hasn’t stopped in the lower courts. In a new, separate lawsuit, the maker of generic mifepristone sued the FDA Wednesday to not revoke its approval or take it off the market without going through the mandated processes, including the Heath and Human Services Secretary declaring that the drug is an imminent risk. The company, GenBioPro, argues that court rulings don’t trump the required steps the agency has to take to remove its approval.
Read the order here: