Finally -- A Move to Eliminate Birth Control Pills
February 24, 2007
The consumer group Public Citizen has petitioned the FDA to ban oral contraceptives that contain the synthetic hormone desogestrel.
Studies suggest that these birth control pills nearly double the risk of potentially fatal blood clots compared with other such pills, without providing improved protection against pregnancy.
Approximately 7.5 million prescriptions for desogestrel-containing oral contraceptives were filled in the United States in 2006.
Pills containing desogestrel may cause 30 cases of blood clots for every 100,000 users a year; other birth control pills only cause 15 cases per 100,000 users. At 7.5 million prescriptions, that means over 1,000 women are unnecessarily being placed at risk each year.
Manufacturers of desogestrel-containing pills have stated that the increased risk of blood clots is listed on the label. However, this warning is in "barely perceptible 4-point type," according to Public Citizen.