Melanie Hunter | Senior Editor | Friday, March 17, 2006
The cause of death in both cases has not been determined, the FDA said, but four other women's deaths have been linked to a bacterial infection that developed after they took RU-486.
"The FDA has pulled other drugs that have caused fewer deaths and less severe complications than RU-486. Why the double-standard for an abortion drug that is now linked to the deaths of seven healthy women and over 800 other reported complications?" asked Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America in a statement.
The FDA has said that only 10 percent of complications associated with drugs get reported. So far over 800 complications associated with RU-486 have been reported to the FDA.
"Two more families are grieving because the FDA refuses to pull this dangerous drug from the market," said Wright. "By giving its approval, FDA participates in the deception that RU-486 is 'safe.' How many women must die before the FDA will act? Are their lives less important than making abortion convenient?"
The FDA has chosen to pull other drugs from the market that have had fewer reported complications than the abortion pill. For example, NeutroSpec, an imaging agent used to diagnose internal infections, was pulled from the market after it was linked to two deaths, 20 severe reactions, and 46 other "less" sever reactions, CWA noted.
Also, multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri was taken off the market on Feb. 28, 2005 after three patients developed PML, a rare brain disease. Several studies in the New England Journal of Medicine in early March reported no additional cases of PML, CWA said.
Lotronex, the only drug in its class to treat irritable bowel syndrome, was pulled after 70 people reported developing severe problems and five people died, including three whose deaths were possibly linked to the drug, CWA noted.
Bextra was taken off the market despite an FDA advisory committee's decision a few months prior that the drug should stay on the market, CWA added.
"The FDA has acted cautiously with these other drugs," said Wright. "Why is that same caution not exercised with a drug that only women use, and it's only purpose is to abort a baby?"
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