RU486: Are you dealing with the real issues?

26 April 2013

NPS MedicineWise supports the scientific and evidence-based recommendation made today that medical abortion drug, mifepristone (RU486), should be subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

RU486 has been included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) since November 2012 and today the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended that the medicine be listed for subsidy on the PBS.

NPS MedicineWise CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes, says this decision is not about the morals and ethics of abortion but rather affordable access to options for safe medical termination of pregnancy.

“Mifepristone (RU486) with misprostol is a real alternative to surgical termination, that can be used earlier in the pregnancy than surgery, and evidence shows its safety and efficacy are comparable with surgical abortion,” says Dr Weekes.

“PBS listing will make this alternative accessible to those who may benefit at an affordable price.”

NPS MedicineWise has published advice for health professionals to help them understand the appropriate use of mifepristone (RU486) and misprostol. This information is available at

Consumers who would like more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals), call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) . Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEST (excluding public holidays). 


Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Media enquiries: Stephanie Childs on 02 8217 8667, 0419 618 365 or