THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1994, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Friday, July 8, 1994 TAG: 9407080818 SECTION: FRONT PAGE: A4 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS DATELINE: WASHINGTON LENGTH: Medium: 56 lines
Abortion opponents, trying to punish a French firm for allowing the abortion drug RU-486 into this country, announced a boycott Thursday of dozens of medicines manufactured by its U.S. sister companies.
None of the companies will test or sell RU-486 here. Manufacturer Roussel Uclaf turned over all U.S. rights to the drug to a nonprofit agency, the Population Council.
But abortion opponents don't believe that agreement is cast in stone, and said they'll boycott 76 medicines made by the firm's U.S. subsidiaries until it's rescinded.
``We want them to withdraw the patent and get out of the abortion business,'' said Richard Glasow of the National Right to Life Committee.
Under pressure from both the Clinton administration and abortion opponents, Roussel Uclaf last month donated its RU-486 patents to the Population Council rather than sell the drug here.
``This whole action is misdirected,'' said Andrea Stine, spokeswoman for Hoechst's U.S. subsidiaries. ``Hoechst, the U.S. company and its subsidiaries will in no way benefit from any possible future sale of this drug.''
The Population Council will test RU-486 on American women this fall. The drug could be licensed for sale here within two years.
RU-486 blocks development of a hormone essential for maintaining pregnancy. Two days after taking RU-486, a woman takes another hormone, prostaglandin, that causes contractions to expel the embryo.
The procedure is painful, can cause such side effects as bleeding and must be performed in a doctor's office or clinic. But the Food and Drug Administration says it appears safer than surgical abortions, which pose the risk of anesthesia, infection and damage to the uterus and cervix. ILLUSTRATION: Graphic
All 65 generic prescription drugs manufactured by Copley
Four over-the-counter Copley products: Bromatapp decongestant and
antihistamine tablets; Doxylamine Succinate, a sedative; Miconazole
nitrate 2 percent cream, for vaginal fungal infections; and
Tolnaftate 1 percent solution for fungal skin infections.
Seven prescription drugs made by Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals:
Altace for high blood pressure; A/T/S erythromycin for acne;
Claforan, an antibiotic; Lasix, a diuretic; Loprox, for skin
infections; Prokine, for bone marrow diseases; and Topicort, for