Methotrexate Access Disruptions: What Rheumatology Patients Need to Know
April 20, 2023 | COVID-19Take Action
Following the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, there have been reports of U.S. rheumatology patients and providers having difficulty accessing methotrexate. The American College of Rheumatology is following this issue closely to determine the extent of these access issues and the best course of action to ensure rheumatology patients have access to the treatments they need.
Methotrexate Access Issues Are Cause for Concern
Methotrexate is a drug commonly prescribed by rheumatologists to reduce inflammation in conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile arthritis. In low doses, methotrexate is safe and effective for regular use by rheumatology patients. It has been shown to reduce pain and swelling and can also decrease damage to joints and long-term disability. While there are potential risks associated with the use of methotrexate for pregnant individuals or those who are considering pregnancy, physicians discuss these risks with their patients. Alternatively, methotrexate has been used off-label in very high dosages to end ectopic pregnancies. With the Supreme Court rolling back federal abortion protections and many state trigger laws in effect, health care providers and policy and legal experts are working to understand the legal implications of prescribing or filling prescriptions of methotrexate in certain states. Millions of patients rely on methotrexate to treat their rheumatic disease, and with women experiencing autoimmune conditions at a rate of almost two to one, this potential access issue is cause for concern – and action.
What the ACR Is Doing to Protect Patient Access
The American College of Rheumatology has assembled a task force of medical and policy experts to understand the extent of methotrexate access issues across the U.S. and to determine the best course of action to ensure rheumatology patients have access to the treatments they need. In the meantime, we are asking ACR members and patients who have experienced challenges accessing methotrexate to email email@example.com with details.