Posted By Jennie Chancey on July 12, 2011
Something you won’t find Planned Parenthood or NOW tripping over themselves to announce any time soon, despite the obvious health risks to women:
When they were approved by regulators, the pills were considered an advance over older forms of oral contraceptives because they were taken for 24 days rather than the usual 21, which was believed to benefit women because it created less hormonal fluctuation. But early on, there were concerns about the health risks associated with drospirenone. A year after Yasmin went on the market, the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen placed the drug on its list of “Do not use pills.”
The group warned consumers that drospirenone caused elevated blood levels of potassium, which could trigger serious heart problems. It also said that Yasmin did not work better than older oral contraceptives that were less likely to cause blood clots and other dangerous side effects.
Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said even as a prescription drug’s safety risks become better understood, it can take years for regulators to insist on stronger warnings or for a drug to be removed from the market. “When you have enough evidence to suggest that there is no unique benefit and there are unique risks, that should be it,” Wolfe said.
The mounting litigation…will have little impact on whether the drug is ever removed from the market. “If companies think they will make more money by continuing to sell a drug, they will,” Wolfe said. “That’s the calculus, if they make more money than they will lose in litigation.”
The entire piece is available at THIS LINK.