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FDA urged to crack down on European firms shipping abortion pills to US from India

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A group of 117 lawmakers has urged the US Administration (FDA) to crack down on companies, primarily based in Europe, that ship abortion drugs from to the US.

These European companies, like Aid Access, are circumventing the FDA's safety requirements and placing the lives of women and their children at risk, the lawmakers said in a letter to Norman Sharpless, the Acting FDA

In the letter dated May 10, the group of urged Sharpless to crack down on and Rablon, two foreign companies known to distribute Mifeprex, a abortion drug, by mail-order to US customers in violation of the FDA's

The letter urges Sharpless to take action to stop the illegal practices of and other mail-order abortion providers. allows abortion pills to be prescribed by an abortionist in the Netherlands, filled by a pharmacy in and shipped to stateside customers, they alleged.

"As the FDA has recognised, by shipping from to the United States, Aid Access circumvents the Food and Administration's safety requirements, placing the lives of women and their children at risk," the letter said.

"We would like to...voice our support for ongoing oversight of this and any other rogue mail-order abortion operation," wrote the lawmakers.

is an oral that blocks the progesterone hormone necessary for a pregnancy to continue. It is used with Misprostol to end early pregnancies.

is approved by the FDA, but it is only available to patients through It is not available in and not legally available on the Internet.

However, certain abortion-by-mail providers primarily based in Europe, like Aid Access, have widened their consumer base to include the US. Aid Access provides remote consultations, sends prescriptions to be filled in India and then sends the abortion drug to the customers in the US.

The FDA recently ordered Aid Access to cease its illegal sale of misbranded and unapproved drugs that induce abortion, following reporting on the company's activities that violate

In the letter, the members of thanked Sharpless for acting to protect American women and their unborn children, and urged the FDA to continue its work to combat the practice of importing dangerous drugs.

"As an OB/GYN who practised medicine for nearly three decades, I am concerned about the consequences of unapproved mail-order abortion drugs," said Congressman

"The dangerous business that Aid Access is conducting is harmful to the of American women, who deserve throughout the course of a pregnancy," he said.

"By violating the FDA's safety protocols, Aid Access and other European mail-order abortion companies endanger the of American women and their children," said Congresswoman

"The FDA must take decisive action against these illegal activities immediately," she demanded.

List said the abortion industry's reckless push to circumvent the law and turn every post office into an abortion centre shows they put profit before women's and safety.

According to the FDA, "it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the for personal use".

Noting that Aid Access claims that their activities are permissible under FDA exceptions, the lawmakers said the exceptions, however, are limited to very narrow circumstances that Aid Access cannot meet.

For example, the drug must be for a condition for which treatment is not available domestically and there must not be any known promotion of the product to persons residing in the US, they wrote.

"Since chemical and surgical abortions are available in the US and Aid Access is clearly promoting the sale of the drugs online, the Aid Access system does not meet the first two requirements for an exception," the said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 15 2019. 07:10 IST