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DeMint Statement on FDA Nomination

Location: Washington, DC

DeMint Statement on FDA Nomination

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement opposing the nomination of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"I believe a qualified FDA nominee would publicly discourage the use of RU-486 and take immediate steps to suspend the drug until a full investigation can be completed. Dr. von Eschenbach has now been the acting FDA commissioner for a year, yet he has done nothing to publicly discourage the use of this deadly drug.

"There have now been eight known deaths associated with RU-486, nine life-threatening incidents, more than 120 blood transfusions, and over 200 hospitalizations. All told, there have been more than 1,050 adverse events associated with this deadly drug.

"In the face of mounting scientific evidence, injury, and death, the FDA has done nothing to suspend this drug and prevent it from hurting or killing more women. By allowing the continued use of this drug and by ignoring the scores of problems associated with it, the FDA is not acting in the interest of women's health and it's calling into question its ability to protect American consumers.

"The FDA has suspended nine different drugs in the past eight years that were not associated with any deaths. But when it comes to RU-486 that has been linked to several deaths, the FDA has failed to take appropriate action and suspend the drug. The FDA also prohibits seniors from buying safe drugs from inspected facilities in Canada, but allows women to buy this deadly drug from unchecked facilities in China. There's a double standard here and the FDA refuses to say why.

"Dr. von Eschenbach should ask Danco Laboratories, the manufacturer of RU-486, to suspend its sales until a thorough review can be completed. He should also explain why the FDA approved this drug using a review process reserved for drugs that offer some hope to people with terminal illnesses, and he should explain why the FDA has been so reluctant to stand up to Danco."

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