By insisting on heavy regulation of the distribution of Mifeprex, the medical abortion pill, the FDA may have made it more vulnerable to anti-abortion forces. The pill was approved last October with restrictions usually reserved for “fast-track” drugs that have been sped to market because of their life-saving potential. Because fast-track drugs typically undergo less testing, the FDA retains a special authority to quickly remove them from the market if problems arise. However, Mifeprex was not sped to market (it underwent a rigorous four-year approval process) and the FDA sumission included extensive clinical trial data. The recent appointment of outspoken abortion opponent Tommy Thompson as Secretary of Health and Human Services, the body that oversees the FDA, has pro-choice advocates concerned that Mifeprex could be pulled off the market completely.
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