Supreme Court abortion decision leads to drug access issue for Virginia woman

A Virginia woman says her doctor has stopped prescribing a medication she uses for symptoms of lupus in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on abortion access.

Becky Schwarz was diagnosed with Lupus in 2020 and got COVID last year leading to a diagnosis of long COVID. She relies on a drug called Methotrexate to treat her symptoms, and now her doctor is saying they can't prescribe it at the moment.

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Despite the troubles, Schwarz tells FOX 5 that she plans to stay with her Rheumatologist in Virginia.

Methotrexate is used to treat a number of ailments including Lupus, Arthritis, and Cancer. It's also used in conjunction with another medication to terminate early pregnancies which has led to reports of the drug being harder to obtain. 

The Arthritis Foundation says multiple arthritis patients have reported having difficulty accessing Methotrexate. The American College of Rheumatology says they are also looking into incidents of patients being denied the drug. They're trying to determine if the issue is more widespread or if it is the independent action of individual pharmacists.

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FOX 5's Katie Barlow spoke with CVS Pharmacy about access to the drug. The pharmacy did not specifically comment on reports of Methotrexate being held back from patients, but CVS officials did say providers can help ease the access issues.

"Our highest priority is ensuring safe and timely access to medications for our patients and we understand the important role pharmacies serve in support of women’s health care. We encourage providers to include their diagnosis on the prescriptions they write to help ensure patients have quick and easy access to medications," Amy Thibault from CVS Pharmacy tells FOX 5.

FOX also reached to Walgreens about the issues. The company did not specifically comment about Methotrexate, but a spokesperson said the company is prepared to adhere to new federal state laws and regulations.