Maker of Ulcer Drug Says It Should Not be Used in RU 486 Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Maker of Ulcer Drug Says It Should Not be Used in RU 486 Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 30, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — As Australia lawmakers debate whether or not to legalize the abortion drug there, the company that manufacturers a drug used in the abortion process says it is unsafe for women to use in abortions.

The dangerous abortion drug RU 486 involves a two part process. Women take two drugs to complete the abortion.

The first drug essentially deprives the unborn child of the nourishment she normally receives during the pregnancy from her mother. That kills the developing baby. The second drug causes contractions and induces labor, expelling the baby’s body in a miscarriage.

The maker of the second drug, called Misoprostol or Cyotec, has said before that the medication, intended for treating ulcers, should not be used in abortion.

With the Australian abortion debate in high gear, the manufacturer, Pfizer, says again that it can’t vouch for the drugs safety when it is misused by abortion practitioners.

Pfizer says the miscarriages can be dangerous, and indeed women have died from using the abortion drug in the United States, Canada, Sweden and elsewhere.

The company also says the clinical tests it has performed on the drug only apply to its use as an ulcer medication.

"We would not recommend use outside TGA-endorsed indication and at this stage that just involves stomach ulcers," a representative of Pfizer Australia told The Australian newspaper. "To get any other use of the drug would involve major clinical trials and that can take years."

Medical associations also note the off label use of the drug is not endorsed by the company.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists issued a statement in November that said "the company which markets an oral formulation of Misoprostol (Cytotec) has not researched and does not support its use in pregnancy, nor does it intend to do so."

The statement also indicated that studies have not been performed to highlight the serious risks and side effects associated with using the drug.

The Australian parliament is currently considering a proposal to shift authority for allowing the abortion drug’s use from Health Minister Tony Abbott, who has rejected it, to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, who MPs want to legalize the drug.