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PHARMA/POLICY/INTERNATIONAL: Not all the wingnuts are in the US

Australia had some great news yesterday as the national team qualified for the soccer world cup, even though it’s only the 4th most popular team sport with the word "football" in the title in the country. But there was also some more bad news. The way that the national broadcaster ABC presented it as Australia’s rural doctors disappointed by Abbott’s abortion pill decision.

Abbott is not the drug company, it’s Tony Abbott the health minister. Because I randomly know his sister and parents, I can tell you that what’s not in the article is that Abbott is a devout Catholic who nearly became a priest. Meanwhile he’s been kicked around in the Australian press for kow-towing to the pharmacist lobby on pricing, and also for not forcing promised cuts in generic prices. He was also at the center of some more complex wrangling over drugs in the free trade pact that many on the left in Australia are very suspicious about, but where I felt they walked a tight-rope fairly well in getting the free-trade deal done.

But the reason given for the ban on RU-486 is that rural doctors wouldn’t be able to treat women using it. Well as evidenced from the statements by rural doctors managed just fine to treat women who spontaneously abort, that’s pure bunk.  Which leads us to the conclusion that yet again religion and ideology have trumped science at the highest levels of national decisions about drugs.

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Jen
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I think any woman who decides to use the pill is always putting her health at risk. It is unfortunate that there are severe side effects when one uses this pill, such as excessive bleeding, so it’s not that surprising that a ban would eventually follow. On the other hand, this seems like another matter of pro-abortion and pro-life politics.

Sergey Kushchak
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I think too!