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Kristin Wipfler, PhD: Issues Accessing Methotrexate in the Post-Roe vs Wade Era

Wipfler emphasized that most of the delays have been associated with pharmacies needing to confirm the purpose of the prescription with the provider.

Kristin Wipfler, PhD, Biobank Director at FORWARD, The National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases, discusses her American College of Rheumatology Convergence presentation “Impact on Access to Methotrexate in the Post-Roe Era.” Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade in June 2022, many patients with rheumatic diseases, particularly women, experienced difficulties in obtaining methotrexate.

“Everyone who experienced a barrier in our study was female,” Wipfler explained. “But we have seen anecdotal reports that some clinics or some pharmacies in some areas were just outright refusing to prescribe or fill methotrexate regardless of age, gender, or anything else. I don't want to say that no men have been affected, because I know that there are reports of that happening. But among our respondents, it was only women.”

Wipfler emphasized that most of the delays have been associated with pharmacies needing to confirm the purpose of the prescription with the provider. Therefore, she urges clinicians writing prescriptions for methotrexate to include the patient’s rheumatic diagnosis in an attempt to lessen this potential issue.

Semi-annual questionnaires will continue to be sent out to participants and will now incorporate questions on medication access as well to gather more data in this area.

“I hope this information and the getting this data out there is helpful,” Wipfler concluded. “I hope that it brings attention to this issue and helps mitigate the issues that we're seeing in some way. And I hope this provides useful information for patients and for providers to try to get through this.”