By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life
In the pharmaceutical industry, as soon as someone makes a widely selling drug, it usually isn’t long before there are lots of companies trying to figure out the formula and sell knockoff generics.
To gain a foothold in a highly competitive market, though, you’ve got to have some gimmick – lower prices, a memorable name, a good marketing programs, free delivery, etc. – to stand out and make a profit.
Cipla, a major pharmaceutical maker and exporter from India, thinks they’ve found a way to distinguish their MTP single pack kits – add popular flavors like strawberry, chocolate… and cannabis.
The “MTP” stands for “medical termination of pregnancy.” Unbelievable at it sounds, Cipla is selling flavored abortion pills.
It is unclear if the motivation is to appeal to a younger crowd, to deal with the bitter, chalky taste of the misoprostol, or just to draw attention to their “product.”
The packets contain a single tablet of mifepristone (RU-486) and four tablets of the prostaglandin misoprostol. The mifepristone acts to block the action of progesterone in the mother’s body, shutting down the small unborn child’s life support system. The misoprostol stimulates powerful uterine contractions to expel the child’s tiny corpse.
The entire process is painful, bloody, and arduous, with side effects alone enough to put some women in the hospital. More than a dozen deaths of chemical abortion patients have been reported worldwide, but there are groups and individuals promoting that women buy the pills online and use them on themselves at home.
Cipla’s own website tells women the mifepristone is to be given to a woman by or under the supervision of a doctor, though not every on-line website selling Cipla’s MTP Kits are as explicit.
Different on-line pharmacies sells the kits for different prices, but the one featuring the flavors sells for about $155.
The packaging indicates the flavoring but does not explain whether this applies to the mifepristone, the misoprostol, or both. Miferpristone is generally taken orally, but different protocols have misoprostol taken buccally (dissolving in the cheek or under the tongue) or vaginally.
As any parent knows, flavors are sometimes added to children’s medicines to make them more palatable, so that a child will be more willing to take his or her medicine and get better.
But these drugs are used to take the lives of innocent children, children who will never grow up to experience the tart sweetness of a fresh strawberry, the delight of chocolate ice cream, or just the love of another human being.
And nothing can sugarcoat that reality.