Supply and/or administration of abortifacients under Patient Group Directions

Jo Jenkins, Specialist Pharmacist (Patient Group Directions), Medicines Use and Safety (SPS)Source NHS PGD WebsitePublished Last updated See all updates

This Q&A advises on the legal position on the supply/administration of abortifacients under PGDs.

One of the requirements of the Abortion Act 1967 is that a pregnancy may be only be terminated by a registered medical practitioner (i.e. a doctor).

For medical terminations, the practitioner is not required to perform personally each and every action that is needed for the treatment but must personally decide upon and initiate the process of medical induction and take responsibility throughout.

This means that abortifacients e.g. mifepristone (Mifegyne®) can only be prescribed by a doctor or supplied and/or administered following a Patient Specific Direction (PSD) for a named patient from a doctor.

Therefore PGDs cannot be used to supply or administer abortifacients.


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