Australia's drug regulatory body Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the controversial abortion pill RU486 to be prescribed by all doctors who have completed a training program conducted by the drug's sponsor, Marie Stopes.
While the drug was available in Australia since 2006, it was under tight control with less than 200 GPs prescribing it. RU486 has been approved to be prescribed to women who are up to seven weeks pregnant with a large scale trial carried out by Marie Stopes showing that less than 3.5 percent of failure rate in women who used the drug.
TGA's approval has been backed by Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek who said that now Australian women can get access to the same options available to most of the western world. "The TGA is an independent body and the Australian government has not intervened in the listing process. This listing means Australian women will have the same options as women in over 46 countries including the UK, USA, New Zealand and in Europe", she said.