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Boycott of New Drug 'Allegra' Aimed at Protecting Women & Children From Dangers of RU-486     4/2/1997

Washington, D.C. -—The nation's largest pro-family women's organization is standing in support of a boycott against the U.S. subsidiaries of Hoechst AG & Roussel Uclaf, developer and manufacturer of the abortion pill RU-486. The focus of the latest boycott is the new drug Allegra, an antihistamine made by the subsidiary Hoechst Marion Roussel. Concerned Women for America (CWA) participated in the National Right to Life Committee's press briefing at the National Press Club at 1:30 p.m. today.

Not So Easy: An RU-486 abortion is not as easy as its proponents claim. Two high-dosage hormone pills (RU-486) and one injection of prostaglandin are administered over four clinical visits. Common complications (which may necessitate emergency medical attention) include vomiting, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and excessive long-term hemorrhaging. French and British reports have linked heart problems and even death to the drug. Due to the FDA's rush to approve RU-486, long term side effects are unknown.

When Filling Prescriptions: Upon request, physicians and pharmacists can provide the readily available alternative or generic brand of: Allegra, Cardizem, Seldane, Claforan, Lasix, DiaBeta, and Nicoderm. Another non-sedating antihistamine, such as Claritin, may work as well or better than Allegra. (Where health and safety are concerned, the advice of medical professionals should be followed.)

A consumer boycott could pressure the European companies that produce RU-486 to withdraw support for its production in the United States.

”As marketing strategies are mounted to boost the sales of Allegra, we will be mounting a counterattack to ensure that consumers are aware that the European company is promoting production of RU-486 in the U.S.,“ said Carmen Pate, Vice President and Spokesman for CWA. ”Women and children will be the losers if final FDA approval is given to RU-486. This drug combination poses a danger for women and children. Those of us who value both the mother's and the baby's life can send a strong message to HMR by refusing to purchase the manufacturer's other FDA approved products.“

Final FDA approval of RU-486 is expected later this year.

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