As a major step for the reproductive rights of women, Japan’s Health Ministry approves the first abortion pill in its history. Following multiple deliberations and debates over the controversial rules of consent, Japanese women are now allowed to seek safe abortions. It is also celebrated by medical experts online as an opportunity to increase better sex education and awareness.
Is the Pill Safe?
The Pharmaceutical Board of the Japanese Health Ministry approved the “Mefeego Pack” on Apr 21, 2023. The abortion pill was manufactured by a British pharmaceutical company- LinePharma, as per a spokesperson from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW).
The pill pack to be administered at medical institutions consists of two drugs, mifepristone, and misoprostol, and is intended to be taken orally within the first nine weeks of pregnancy.
According to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, 93% of participants in a clinical trial conducted in Japan had a complete abortion within 24 hours using the pill pack.
To date, only surgical abortion is available in Japan through two methods:
- Curettage Method – In this method, the tissue inside the uterus is removed with a metal instrument.
- Evacuation Method – In this method, the tissue is sucked out through a tube, according to NHK.
Both these methods have been termed ‘obsolete’ according to WHO, and approval of abortion pills in Japan is a huge step towards the health and safety of Japanese women.
What is Next for the Japanese Pharmaceutical Market?
The Japanese government is currently giving a lot of impetus to new-age drugs and medicines owing to the country’s aging population and healthcare demands. With an influx of these high-end and revolutionary drugs in the market, the pharmaceutical industry in Japan is reaching new heights.
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