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Abortion Pill Could Be On U.S. Market This Year

Associated Press

A lawsuit holding up introduction of the abortion pill RU-486 in the United States has been settled, meaning the drug could be on the market by the end of the year, its chief sponsor said Wednesday.

The dispute was between the Population Council, the non-profit organization that holds U.S. rights to the drug, and Neogen Investors, which was licensed by the council to manufacture and distribute RU-486.

After reaching the licensing agreement with Neogen, the Population Council sued Neogen owner Joseph D. Pike, accusing him of hiding his criminal past - he is a disbarred lawyer accused of forgery - to secure the rights. The Population Council demanded Pike’s removal from the project.

Under the settlement reached Tuesday, Pike has sold much of his interest in the project, the Population Council said.

The Population Council said it has established a new company, Advances for Choice, to assume responsibility for distributing the drug.

The pill still must receive final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In September, the FDA declared the pill safe and effective, but the agency is awaiting more information on manufacturing and labeling.

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