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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fun with Pharmaceuticals

Something in the Chicago Sun-Times caught my eye:

"WASHINGTON -- Health officials said Monday they have ruled out the abortion pill RU-486 in one of two deaths in women who had taken the drug. The second remains under investigation.


"The recent deaths had sparked renewed calls to ban the abortion pill."

It wasn't so much that the drug was found to be unrelated to the death so much as that six deaths were enough for people to call for it's removal from pharmacy shelves. I decided to make a comparison with another drug - not entirely randomly selected. I googled this up from

"In an analysis of 1,473 major adverse events recorded in these reports about Viagra to the FDA, 522 people died, most of them from cardiovascular causes. According to the study's senior author, Dr. Kaul, the majority of deaths were associated with standard Viagra dosages (70 percent of the deaths were associated with the 50 mg dose). The deaths were due to cardiovascular causes and appeared to be clustered around the time of dosing (two thirds of deaths in which the time from ingestion to death was reported, occurred within 4-5 hours of taking Viagra). The majority of deaths occurred in patients who were less than 65 years of age, and who had no reported cardiac risk factors."

Now, who's arguing that Viagra is deadly and should be removed from the market?

It just goes to show, no opportunism is too shameless for the religious right.

(Keywords: politics, abortion, religious right, examples of selective outrage )