KUALA LUMPUR: Abortion kits are being touted via the internet at thrice the actual cost to women in dire need of terminating their pregnancies. Investigations by theSun revealed that such abortion kits, which contain a Mifepristone pill and six Misoprostol (better known as Cytotec) tablets, are being promoted via free advertising websites for between RM500 and RM800. Going by the price quoted on websites in countries where the drugs can be legally sold, the value of the kit is only about RM265. Buyers are given the option of personally collecting the drugs from sellers in various parts of the country, especially Sabah and Malacca, or having it mailed to them by courier service. According to the Health Ministry’s Pharmacy Division, Mifepristone (which retails under the brand name Mifeprex) is neither recognised by the ministry nor registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA), and so cannot be sold in Malaysia. Cytotec, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers, is often openly marketed as “pil cuci rahim” (womb cleansing pill) on social media such as Facebook. It is available for purchase in local licensed pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription, at RM6 per tablet. Meanwhile, Mifeprex is priced at US$45 (about RM190) per pill on many US-based websites. One free advertisement website even priced Mifeprex at RM580, which is 66% more than the retail price quoted on a US drug retail website. It is learnt that Cytotec is the most common form of abortion pill found in Malaysia, despite the fact that it is primarily meant to treat stomach ulcers. According to medical literature, Cytotec is prescribed along with Mifepristone to facilitate the abortion. A pharmacist said: “Overseas, the two drugs are prescribed together. Only then will an abortion be successful. But here, many women come and ask for the drug, for this purpose, without proper prescription.” A gynaecologist, who requested anonymity, said: “Abortion using Cytotec alone is like walking with crutches, as it does not ensure the success of the abortion.” Last year, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had warned against the misuse of the drug, classified as a Type B poison, as it can lead to death if not used for the right purpose. A DCA source said action will be taken against those who sell the drugs illegally.