The Nation



Agencies crack down on abortion-pill websites

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday announced a crackdown on nine websites found to be selling abortion-inducing drugs including Cytolog, Misoprostol, MTPill and Mifepristone.

DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said the joint investigation and sting operation led to the arrest in Nakhon Pathom of two suspects - Somchai Sunancharoen, 48, who allegedly kept a storage facility for the drugs, and Wiroj Angkurawanit, 30, who allegedly ran the nine websites.

The DSI also seized from Somchai's house 120 drug sets with instructions in ready-to-send packages; 2,008 pills worth Bt1 million; and empty boxes that once contained 30,000 pills, which had already been sent off. Tarit said the websites had operated for over a year and had catered to 20,000 customers during June-December alone, reportedly earning Bt4 million a month.

FDA deputy chief Prapon Angtrakul said the agency had approved Misoprostol under the name Cytotec as a drug to treat stomach and intestinal ulcers, but some people misused it in an attempt to induce an abortion. He warned that such drug usage without doctor's supervision could cause severe contraction of the uterus, possibly leading to uterine rupture and fatal haemorrhage.

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