An abortion-rights organization has signed an agreement with an overseas manufacturer to produce a generic equivalent of the RU-486 abortion pill.
The duplicate drug could be ready for human trials by the end of the year, said Lawrence Lader, president of Abortion Rights Mobilization. He refused to identify the company.
Abortion opponents have fought to keep RU-486 out of the United States. The drug's maker, Roussel-Uclaf of France, began negotiating a year ago to make the drug available for testing in the United States through the Population Council, an international research organization.
But the negotiations dragged on and Abortion Rights Mobilization announced in April 1993 that its researchers had duplicated the drug. The organization spent the last year raising money, finding a manufacturer and consulting with the federal Food and Drug Administration, Lader said.
The agreement to produce the drug for U.S. use was signed last week.
"We hope to have dosages for testing ready in five to six months," Lader said.