Access to methotrexate in limbo post-Roe — report
On the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, some women have said they’ve had trouble accessing methotrexate — a common drug for autoimmune diseases and cancer that’s also used off-label to end ectopic pregnancies.
The Lupus Foundation of America confirmed on Monday that it’s aware of reports that people have had difficulty getting a hold of methotrexate. The drug was developed more than seven decades ago as a chemotherapy agent, but is now commonly used to treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Just last week, Horizon Therapeutics landed an expanded label for its gout medicine Krystexxa in combination with methotrexate.
The drug is also used in some cases to treat ectopic pregnancies, or pregnancies in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. The egg can’t survive outside the uterus, and left untreated, can cause life-threatening bleeding to the mother.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, prescribing methotrexate to end a pregnancy in certain cases has been (or may soon be) criminalized in some states. However, prescriptions for other uses unrelated to pregnancy are reportedly going unfilled.
“I have gotten some reports where children have been denied methotrexate for their juvenile arthritis until they’ve proven they’re not pregnant,” Cuoghi Edens, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Medicine, told the LA Times.
Several patients have shared on Twitter that they haven’t been able to refill their methotrexate prescriptions, though Endpoints News has not been able to confirm these posts as of press time.
“We are working with our Medical-Scientific Advisory Council to guide our efforts going forward so we can help ensure that people with lupus have access to the treatments they need,” the Lupus Foundation of America posted in a statement on Twitter.
Methotrexate is an important part of lupus care. We are aware of reports that some people are having difficulty accessing methotrexate in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Dobbs case. pic.twitter.com/WjXmnEY0Hk
— Lupus Foundation of America (@LupusOrg) July 2, 2022
A Horizon spokesperson said the company is not aware of any access issues in combination with Krystexxa.