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The FDA just issued a warning on RU-486—the drug used to cause medical abortions—after two women died from secondary infections after taking the pill to end their pregnancies. But the FDA waited until about 27,000 people had died from heart attacks and strokes while taking arthritis drug Vioxx before pulling that drug. Why the discrepancy?
The death of one woman last January prompted the FDA to issue a warning notice on the so-called abortion pill, RU-486. The woman did not die as a direct cause of the medication, but rather a secondary infection that set in afterward. It was only the second such case reported after using RU-486.
Compare that FDA response to its handling of Merck’s hot-selling arthritis pill, Vioxx. Warnings on that pill have been flooding in from around the world for more than two years—warnings the FDA ignored. The pill worked fine at alleviating pain—especially for the estimated 27,000 users it killed. It seems Vioxx had some nasty side affects: heart attacks and strokes.