The Special Treatment of RU-486,” by Nick Frase, compares RU-486, the one FDA-approved drug specifically for the purpose of abortion, with other drugs that have been withdrawn from the U.S. pharmaceutical market. RU-486 has been connected with a multitude of negative side effects, the most serious being death. Yet the drug is still on the market and moreover, is touted as beneficial for women’s health.

In Frase’s words, “Many drugs have been removed from the market for far lesser reasons than the known risks assumed with taking RU-486. This has some health advocates wondering if the drug is not somehow receiving special treatment over and above its track record.”

In 2006 the FDA acknowledged 232 hospitalizations, 116 cases involving blood transfusions, and, most sadly, 8 deaths related to RU-486 in its first six years of FDA approval. In comparison, some of the drugs that have been withdrawn from the pharmaceutical market include Tysabri — used for M.S. and Crohn’s disease — which was connected with 1 death and 1 adverse event; Raplon — a muscle relaxer — which was linked to five deaths; Lotronex — used for Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS) in women — which reportedly received 70 adverse event reports, with 34 hospitalizations and 3 deaths.

Nick surmises that RU-486 has indeed received special treatment. For more information, read the full paper.