Tainted Drugs and the Abortion Pill

by John McKiggan

Nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or injured by contaminated leukemia drugs manufactured by a Chinese pharmaceutical company that supplies the abortion pill Mifepristone (or RU-486) to the United States.

The New York Times has reported that Chinese drug regulators have accused the drug manufacturer, Shanghai Hualian, of a cover-up and have closed the factory that produced the tainted cancer drugs.

The Times has reported that the same company is the sole supplier of Mifepristone (the abortion pill) to the U.S.

The Times has previously reported on how a Chinese drug company Honor International Pharmtech had been accused of shipping counterfeit drugs into the United States.

Health Canada has not approved Mifepristone for use in Canada. So why should we Canadians care?

There are numerous products manufactured in other countries that are approved for sale in Canada. There has been an explosion recently in the popularity of alternative health products and herbal or “traditional” remedies.

How do you know if the drug, or product you are taking is safe?


Drugs and natural health products that are authorized for sale in Canada will have either an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Natural Product Number (NPN) or a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. These numbers indicate that the products have been assessed by Health Canada for safety, effectiveness and quality.

You can check for a list of foreign product alerts, advisories and warnings issued by Health Canada here.

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