Product News and Recalls

Health regulators call for restriction on birth control pills

French health regulators intend to ask the European Union to restrict newer varieties of birth control pills, over concerns they may cause blood clots.

A Reuters story says all birth control pills are associated with a risk of blood clots, but a number of studies show that newer types carry a higher risk.

For examples, studies have suggested pills with the compound drospirenone – such as Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella – carry up to three times the risk of potentially deadly blood clots compared to other oral contraceptives on the market.

According to the story, the newer pills have caught on because they reduce side effects from earlier versions such as weight gain and acne. In a news conference, French health minister Marisol Touraine said the newer pills should be prescribed by specialist doctors only to women who cannot use other types of contraception.

The French government had already announced that it would stop reimbursing prescription costs of the newer pills and would restrict their use after a 25-year-old woman sued Beyaz manufacturer Bayer over a stroke caused by a blood clot.

The story notes that Bayer has set aside $264 million in the third quarter for litigation in the United States in connection with its Yasmin line of birth control pills, after already agreeing to pay $750 million to settle 3,490 claims related to blood clots.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.

See the story here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/11/us-france-contraception-eu-idUSBRE90A0Q120130111