In a recent entry for “re:Cycling,” the blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, journalist Holly Grigg-Spall questions whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration went far enough in its new labeling requirements for the Yasmin line of birth control pills.
Grigg-Spall points out that the new labels mention the results of “conflicting” studies, most of which concluded that the pills in question cause a significant increase in the number of potentially fatal blood clots for women who take them. But she questions whether it’s strictly accurate to present the research results as conflicting, since only two studies found no connection between the pills and increased blood clots, and both of those studies were funded by the pills’ manufacturer.
A recent FDA advisory panel examined the risk of blood clots with drospirenone, compared to the risk with pregnancy, and Grigg-Spall argues that a more appropriate comparison would be to other, apparently safer types of birth control pills on the market.
She implies the FDA has a conflict-of-interest in its dealings with pharmaceutical companies.
“There is too much dependent on the FDA not acknowledging the efficacy of non-hormonal contraceptives or admitting that research funded by the pharmaceutical company producing the drug is not reliable,” she writes.