Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sowing and Reaping, Though Not as Planned

Four women are dead. They all took the same pill. The drug remains on the market while the Food and Drug Administration investigates. Wonder why?Associated Press has the story here. The short answer is that the FDA still considers the pill safe. Pay no attention to the corpses behind the curtain. The gruesome details:
Federal health investigators are baffled: Why have four California women died from a bloodstream infection after using a controversial abortion pill?

Two of the deaths - one this year and one last year - were reported last week by the Food and Drug Administration. The other two deaths occurred in 2003. All were caused by sepsis, a bloodstream infection, although the women didn't have all the usual symptoms for sepsis, such as fever, health officials say. Only one other U.S. death linked to the drug has been reported since it went on the market in 2000, and the cause of death in that case was different.

"On the surface, this appears unusual," said Dr. Marc Fischer, a medical epidemiologist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "That's why we're investigating."

Sold as Mifeprex, and also known as RU-486 or mifepristone, the drug is taken as two pills at different times. None of the women who died followed FDA-approved instructions for taking the drug, and authorities are looking into whether that may have played a role in their deaths.
Why does the FDA continue to drag it's feet? Did they learning nothing from the Vioxx fiasco?

These women may have died because they did not follow the prescriptions' instructions. Whose instructions did they follow? Abortion clinic medial personnel. Of course:
The FDA calls for both pills to be swallowed, but the agency says it is aware that many abortion clinics and doctors recommend that the second pill be inserted vaginally based on studies that have shown its effectiveness in ending a pregnancy.

Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said she believes vaginal insertion is safe. Abortion clinics counsel women on making sure their hands are clean before they insert the pill to avoid infection, Cullins said.

Federal drug regulators are unsure whether this so-called "off-label use" might have contributed to the deaths, but it is one of the areas being investigated.
How reassuring. A doctor in the employ of the country's number one abortion provider believes she knows better than the Food and Drug Administration when it comes the application of RU-486. I'm sure the four women that may have taken her advice are relieved to hear this. Of course, they can't tell us if they are or aren't. That's because they're DEAD! G.K. Chesterton once observed that statistics are only insignificant when they don't involve you. In other words, It doesn't matter if 1 out of 100,000 people die from RU-486 if you happen to be the one!

Does the FDA want to be responsible for someone else's daughter dying from this drug. The agency should do the right thing and pull it from the market until it has been thoroughly reevaluated. It is unconscionable enough that the abortion drug hit the market in the first place. It is outrageous that it's allowed to stay there while women who've taken it die.