Hospitals and Pharmacies Collide over Right to Prepare Abortion Pills | Be Korea-savvy

Hospitals and Pharmacies Collide over Right to Prepare Abortion Pills


Mifegyne is a medication that contains mifepristone, the substance responsible for bringing about an abortion during pregnancy. (image: Exelgyn)

Mifegyne is a medication that contains mifepristone, the substance responsible for bringing about an abortion during pregnancy. (image: Exelgyn)

SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Korea Bizwire)Disputes are arising between the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry over the right to produce abortion pills as the government plans to allow medical abortion.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare added a provision to allow medical abortion on top of the currently allowed surgical abortion.

This will allow the use of Mifegyne, an abortion drug.

In response, the Korean College of Ob & Gyn (KCOG) and other associations called on the government to exclusively allow doctors to prepare the medicine, arguing that safety can be better ensured if a doctor oversees the entire process of medical abortion.

“Each pill is closely managed once it enters a hospital,” said Kim Dong-suk, chairman of the KCOG.

“If abortion pills are made available at all pharmacies across the country, we are doubtful if the distribution process can be managed thoroughly.”

In response, the Korean Pharmaceutical Association (KPA) argued that abortion pills should not be exempt from the principle of division of labor between hospitals and pharmacies.

“Hospitals sometimes prescribe emergency morning-after pills at the wrong department, to a male visitor, too. It is questionable that hospitals ensure safety in terms of managing pharmaceuticals,” said a source from the KPA.

H. M. Kang (hmkang@koreabizwire.com)

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