Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, November 11, 2005

The FDA Fails Us Again

NPR and CBS are reporting that the birth control patch that is now used by many women may expose them to Estrogen levels 60% higher than the regular pill. Apparently, the manufacturer has discovered this fact while conducting studies of the patch. And now, the FDA is requiring that the packaging be labeled with warning signs. The NPR report focused on the fact that women would have to weigh the benefits of being able to wear a patch for a week with the increased chance for health troubles. This particular patch increases the possibility of blood clots.

If I were reporting, I would be asking why this product wasn't tested properly BEFORE being sold. It has been on the market for a couple of years now. Why was that not discovered before FDA approval was granted and why is it not being pulled from the market?


Anonymous said...

Wow. If memory serves, the problem with some of the first oral contraceptives were blood clots caused by high hormone levels. Over the past thirty years, most Pills have in effect become 'mini-pills' - contraceptives with comparatively small hormone levels in order to stave off this kind of side effect.

I hope this finding leads to a better, safer patch - but I'm not optimistic. Rather than finding alternatives, the drug companies' reaction to problems w/ contraceptive devices is usually some sort of 'duck and cover' - pull a particular device or drug from the shelves(e.g., contraceptive sponges) without attempting to improve it and make people go back to using more difficult or cumbesome methods.

-Seventh Sister 

// posted by Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is a relatively inelastic demand curve. The decision to use or not use contraception is rarely based on the device. Indeed, the decision is not even much influenced by religion, as, for example, use by Catholics of the forbidden items is, by all polling, exactly the same as the rest of the population. The reason nobody has built a better mousetrap is not the Awesome Power of the Spring, but that you'll never sell more mousetraps by improving them. So improved contraceptive products just cannibalize the other products already made by the same manufacturers, of whom there are very very few. And those who want contraception will use it, even if it comes in ugly packages or has mild side effects. Condoms are more marketable, incidentally, than other birth control devices for two main reasons: (1) like underwear, they are seen in connection with sex and can be branded and distinguished by quality and variety; (2) they can be sold to more people, including those who cannot conceive (e.g., gay couples), and those who just want to own them (e.g., frat boys). 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

Here's a biggy. Condoms are safer and statistically more effective when properly used. No one gets blood clots from condoms.


// posted by USWest