This week marks the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. We’ve come a long way baby! But some things haven’t changed: Even 35 years ago women were complaining about side effects, including blood clots. Back in 1960, the pill was marketed as 100 percent safe, it would liberate women and it would even prevent divorce. Well, Bayer is still lying about its birth control pills Yasmin and Yaz, saying it is as safe as other oral contraceptives.
A few events regarding the pill have been announced this past month. On April 9, 2010 Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals announced it would update its Yaz and Yasmin labels with a stronger warning, which has already happened in Europe. And Bayer has a dirty little secret: Did you know that 32,856 boxes of Yaz, at three packs per box, and 122,208 boxes of Ocella, an identical product was recalled? You won’t find that recall on its website and you have to dig deep to find it on the FDA recall list.
TIME magazine featured an article on the pill this month. Here is an excerpt:
“In 1954, John Rock, the doctor who was leading the research on the pill, expressed the breathless excitement shared by many of his colleagues: An oral contraceptive, he said, “would be the greatest aid ever discovered to the happiness and security of individual families – indeed, to mankind” because “the greatest menace to world peace and decent standards of life today is not atomic energy but sexual energy.”
Regarding pregnancy, the article says that ” 63 percent say they know little or nothing about birth control pills, and much of what they think they know is wrong.” I would venture a guess that over 63 percent are unaware of more than 1,100 lawsuits filed by women who were injured after using Yaz or Yasmin, and that women taking these fourth-generation pills containing the hormone drospirenone face a risk twice as high as other oral contraceptives. Research has shown that 35 to 40 women out of 100,000 experience thromboembolic effects (formation in a blood vessel of a clot that breaks loose and is carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel) each year.
Nowhere did this in-depth article mention the risks involved in fourth-generation birth control pills, nor did it mention countless women who have suffered-and some have died-from Yasmin and Yaz.
Interestingly, Bayer said today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its new Natazia oral contraceptive pill, right on the heels of Yaz and Yasmin losing its patent protection, and the company’s decline in sales. Bayer likely has to save money for another bombardment of lawsuits, including Natazia. Check out its press release:
The use of Natazia is associated with increased risks of several serious conditions including venous and arterial thrombotic and thromboembolic events (such as myocardial infarction, thromboembolism, stroke), hepatic neoplasia, gallbladder disease, hypertension, ruptured ovarian cyst and uterine leiomyoma. The excess risk of thromboembolic events is highest during the first year of use of COC.
Natazia is expected to be available in the U.S. this summer. The company said that outside of the US, the product is marketed as Qlaira since May 2009.
So much for the pill liberating women!