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Boycott threat forces French company to abandon RU486

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7088.1145m (Published 19 April 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1145
  1. Alexander Dorozynski
  1. Paris

    Pressure by American antiabortion activists has led the French pharmaceutical company Roussel-Uclaf, subsidiary of the German company Hoechst, to abandon production and distribution of mifepristone (RU486), the “abortion pill.”

    The company has transferred all patent rights, without charge, to Dr Edouard Sarkiz, one of the pill's developers, who hopes to develop its potential in other therapeutic areas.

    Antiabortionists had long threatened to boycott Hoechst and Roussel-Uclaf's products in the United States if the pill was marketed there. A few months ago, Hoechst acquired all shares of Marion …

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