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Back To Vidyya FDA Deadline for RU-486 Quickly Approaching

Public Unaware Of Drug's Beneficial Uses For A Variety Of Conditions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to decide the fate of mifepristone -- formerly known as RU-486, the French abortion pill -- by Sept. 30.

For 12 years Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal has been fighting for FDA approval of mifepristone. In 1994, the French firm that developed RU-486 decided to transfer the drug's US patent rights to a US non-profit organization, due in large part to the Feminist Majority Foundation's public education campaign, which produced over 700,000 petitions urging the French to release RU-486 to American women. In 1996 the FDA issued an "approvable" letter, identifying mifepristone as a safe and effective drug. In February of this year, the FDA issued a second "approvable" letter.

What many people don't know is that mifepristone may also be effective in treating fibroid tumors, endometriosis, Cushing's Syndrome, meningiomas (brain tumors), some breast and ovarian cancers, and a myriad of other medical conditions that primarily affect women. Committed to make mifepristone available to patients in need, the Feminist Majority Foundation administers the nation's only Compassionate Use Program, supplying the medication to a small number of patients who have obtained single-patient FDA approval. Yet American clinical trials for most of these uses have come to a standstill due anti-abortion politics.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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