Abortion Medication Prescription Labeling Changes

April 25, 2024

New Law: Hospital Action Required


Hospital COOs, CMOs, OB Administrative Leads, OB Medical Leads, Pharmacy Leaders, In-House Legal, Government Affairs leaders

Please forward to applicable outpatient clinic leaders

Staff Contact:

Remy Kerr, MPH; Policy Director, Government Affairs
RemyK@wsha.org | 206.216.2514
Subject: Abortion Medication Prescription Labeling Changes



This bulletin is intended to inform hospitals, health systems and pharmacies about changes to Washington State prescription labeling requirements for medications used in abortions under HB 2115. The new law impacts prescriptions labeled under RCW 69.41.050. At the request of the prescriber, a label for prescriptions used in abortions may include the prescribing and dispensing health care facility name instead of the name of the practitioner. The new law is effective June 6, 2024.


  • Retail pharmacies
  • Practitioners authorized to prescribe medications used for abortions
  • The law would not apply to hospital pharmacy-dispensed medications that are not subject to the labeling requirements in RCW 69.41.050.

The Law

This new law allows, at their request, a prescriber or the dispensing practitioner’s individual name not be included on the prescription label for an abortion medication. Instead, the individual’s name can be replaced with the prescribing and/or dispensing health care facility name.

This law applies to every box, bottle, jar, tube or other container of a legend drug used in abortions dispensed by a practitioner authorized to prescribe legend drugs.

  1. “Legend drugs” means any drugs which are required by state law or regulation of the pharmacy quality assurance commission to be dispensed on prescription only or are restricted to use by practitioners only.
  2. “Practitioner” means:
    1. A physician under chapter 18.71 RCW, an osteopathic physician or an osteopathic physician and surgeon under chapter 18.57 RCW, a dentist under chapter 18.32 RCW, a podiatric physician and surgeon under chapter 18.22 RCW, an acupuncturist or acupuncture and Eastern medicine practitioner to the extent authorized under chapter 18.06 RCW and the rules adopted under *RCW 18.06.010(1)(j), a veterinarian under chapter 18.92 RCW, a registered nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or licensed practical nurse under chapter 18.79 RCW, an optometrist under chapter 18.53 RCW who is certified by the optometry board under RCW 18.53.010, a physician assistant under chapter 18.71A RCW, a naturopath licensed under chapter 18.36A RCW, a licensed athletic trainer to the extent authorized under chapter 18.250 RCW, a pharmacist under chapter 18.64 RCW, or, when acting under the required supervision of a dentist licensed under chapter 18.32 RCW, a dental hygienist licensed under chapter 18.29 RCW;
    2. A pharmacy, hospital, or other institution licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted to distribute, dispense, conduct research with respect to, or to administer a legend drug in the course of professional practice or research in this state; and
    3. A physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery or a physician licensed to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery in any state, or province of Canada, which shares a common border with the state of Washington.
  3. “Dispense” means the interpretation of a prescription or order for a legend drug and, pursuant to that prescription or order, the proper selection, measuring, compounding, labeling, or packaging necessary to prepare that prescription or order for delivery.


  • Review this bulletin alongside RCW 69.41.050 to understand the change in prescription labeling.
  • Begin implementation with retail pharmacy teams and make any necessary changes to label printing technology.
  • Inform clinicians within your outpatient clinics, hospital (if applicable) and retail pharmacies about the option to maintain individual anonymity when prescribing or dispensing medications used for abortions.


Abortions can be performed surgically or using medications. For medication used for abortions, the medications may be dispensed to the patient as a prescription. Abortion medications are substances used in the course of medical treatment intended to induce the termination of a pregnancy. This includes mifepristone.

The dispensed medications are required to comply with labeling requirements specified in RCW 69.41.050. Under those requirements, each prescription label must include the name of the prescriber, complete directions for use, the name of the drug (brand or generic name), strength per unit dose, name of patient, and date. There are some narrow exceptions to these requirements.

Under the new law, the prescription label for an abortion medication can list the prescribing and dispensing health care facility name in place of the name of the practitioner if requested by the prescriber. All other required label information must still be included.

Next Steps

Facilities that dispense medications and are subject to the requirements under RCW 69.41.050 will need to prepare for compliance by June 6, 2024.

WSHA’s 2024 New Law Implementation Guide
Please visit WSHA’s new law implementation guide online. The Government Affairs team is hard at work preparing resources and information on the high priority bills that passed in 2024 to help members implement the new laws, as well as links to resources such as this bulletin. In addition, you will find the Government Affairs team’s schedule for release of upcoming resources on other laws and additional resources for implementation.

Background and References

HB 2115

RCW 69.41.050


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
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Seattle, WA 98104

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