Italian Senate Delays Sale of RU 486 November 27, 2009
 The Italian Senate has blocked the sale of RU 486 in the country pending investigations into the abortion drug’s safety. Antonio Tomassini, the leader of the committee studying the issue cited the “many doubts” surrounding the drug and the panel voted to postpone its distribution. This summer the Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) approved the drug, stipulating that it must be administered by physicians in hospitals up to the 49th day of pregnancy, but not sold over the counter in pharmacies. This decision came despite AIFA documentation that noted the deaths of at least nine women who had taken it. In 2008, the Italian Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics reported 16 maternal deaths associated with RU 486.

The committee said it is also concerned with the drug’s compatibility with Italian law that allows abortion on demand up to 90 days of pregnancy. Maurizio Sacconi, the Welfare and Health Minister, said, “Italy’s abortion laws were not conceived with a pharmaceutical solution in mind.”