Danco Laboratories LLC, a women’s health pharmaceutical company that has been granted an exclusive license from the Population Council to manufacture, market and distribute the early abortion pill known as Mifeprex in the US, announced Thursday that it will begin the distribution of the pill immediately. The initial batch of pills will go to centers that perform surgical abortions, including 28 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country. Danco is also shipping out information materials to health care professionals.
Danco, Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation (NAF) say they will recruit and train more health workers and doctors to use Mifeprex, widening women’s access to this safe and effective form of early abortion. NAF has trained over 2,000 doctors and health care professionals on the use of Mifeprex this year and anticipate an increased demand for training in 2001. NAF will also offer a range of resources to educate health care providers about Mifeprex, including an interactive CD-ROM, an accredited self-study guide, and a patient education manual. A NAF representative reported that of the 3,000 monthly calls NAF receives, half are from women inquiring about Mifeprex and its availability.
The struggle to bring mifepristone to the United States was long, as abortion rights groups and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s RU 486 Campaign battled anti-abortion activists to gain approval of this drug, which has shown promise not only in providing early abortion, but in treating certain progestin-dependent tumors and conditions. The FDA approved mifepristone on September 28, 2000.
For more information on mifepristone, its uses, and the struggle for U.S. availability of the drug, please visit FMF’s Reproductive Rights Center online.