World: German Opposition Party Supports RU-486 Approval

Members of Germany's Social Democratic Party "are working toward introduction" of RU-486 "if they are victorious" in the upcoming national elections, AP/Worldstream reports. Edouard Sakiz, French patent holder of the drug "known chemically as mifepristone," has said he would wait for the German government's approval before seeking European Union permission to market the drug.

However, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has not backed introduction of the drug and RU-486 faces opposition from pro-life groups in that country. Currently, only Sweden, Great Britain and France have approved the use of the drug, according to AP/Worldstream. The German pharmaceutical company Hoechst initially owned the rights to the pill, but transferred the patent to Sakiz, one of RU-486's original developers, "under pressure from pro-life groups" AP/Worldstream reports.

Sakiz "produces the drug under a small company in France whose name he keeps secret, fearing reprisals from pro-life supporters." Sakiz said "he [plans] to apply" to market the drug in several European countries beginning Jan. 1, and would "add Germany to his list" with government approval (Winkhaus, AP/Worldstream, 8/3).

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