Australia Drug Companies Not Interested in Importing RU 486 Abortion Pills

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Drug Companies Not Interested in Importing RU 486 Abortion Pills Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 25, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — The Australia parliament voted to pave the way for legalizing the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug, but no drug company in Australia is apparently interested in importing the pills for sale.

Major Australian drug companies have reported the lack of interested to the Medicines Australia, the leading trade group for pharmaceuticals.

Representatives of the industry told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that there is little market for the abortion drug and that it doesn’t make much commercial sense to go through the approval process needed to bring the pills to Australia.

The companies also said it wouldn’t make good business sense to try to sell the drugs and engender the opposition of pro-life groups. That could erode support for other products.

"Against that background it’s not particularly clever to register such a medicine when we’re going to get a range of groups capable of generating a lot of publicity targeting the whole industry," one drug company source told The Advertiser newspaper.

The abortion drug RU 486 has come under fire because it is responsible for the deaths of eight women worldwide and injuring more than 850 in the United States alone.

The drug company position would also make it so the Australian government probably would not cover the abortion drug under its medical drug plans.

For drugs to receive taxpayer-funded support, they must be placed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme but resistance from the pharmaceutical industry to support the abortion drug would likely prevent that from happening.

However, pro-abortion doctor Caroline de Costa says she is working to overcome objections to try to bring the drugs to the island nation. Other abortion advocates may follow suit.

The Advertiser reports that de Cost has asked the New Zealand company Ista, which sells Ista, which sells the dangerous drug there, if it would supply her with the pills. She also wants Ista’s parent company, the France-based Exelgyn, to apply with the TGA for a permit to sell the drugs.

Under current law, only authorized drug companies and "authorized prescribers," normally doctors, are allowed to submit an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration to import legally approved drugs.