HC Deb 10 December 2003 vol 415 c503W
Jim Dobbin

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many female deaths in England and Wales have been attributable to the abortion pill RU486 since 1990. [141562]

Miss Melanie Johnson

There were eight maternal deaths associated with termination of pregnancy reported to the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths for the period 1991–99. None of these deaths were attributable to Mifegyne (also known as RU486). The data for 2000–02 are not yet available.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is responsible for medicines regulation in the United Kingdom, and the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) receive reports of suspected adverse drug reactions to medicinal products via the Yellow Card Scheme. Since marketing authorisation was first granted in 1991, the MHRA and CSM have received two reports of fatal suspected reactions in association with use of Mifegyne. However, the reporting of a suspected adverse drug reaction does not necessarily mean that the drug was responsible. Many factors, such as the medical condition that is being treated, other pre-existing illnesses or other medications might have contributed.

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