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April 3, 1991

As Data on Antiprogesterone Compounds Grow, Societal and Scientific Aspects Are Scrutinized

JAMA. 1991;265(13):1628-1629. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460130018004

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ALTHOUGH some people wish it would just go away, a symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, DC, has presented new evidence for the argument that RU-486 (mifepristone) is here to stay.

Ever since the first reports were published in the early 1980s of this drug's use in France as a safe and effective abortifacient, researchers have also emphasized the many other potential indications inherent in the entire class of antiprogestational compounds (JAMA. 1989;262:1808-1814 and 1990;264:1026-1027). Now, the results of clinical trials of RU-486 for at least two gynecologic uses—ripening of the cervix at term and expulsion of the fetus after spontaneous intrauterine death during the second or third trimester-are so encouraging that its approval for these purposes appears to be "imminent."

That is the opinion of the symposium chair, Sheldon J. Segal, PhD. He says the French researchers have enough data now to