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Call for birth control pill ban

7th February 2007

14032006_PillPackets1s.jpgPetitioners in the United States are calling for a new kind of oral contraceptive pill to be banned, saying it holds a higher risk of blood clots for users than older pills.

Birth-control pills that contained the synthetic progestin desogestrel were nearly twice as likely to cause potentially fatal blood clots than older pills and should be banned immediately, the consumer group Public Citizen said in a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Researchers criticised the FDA for knowing since 1995 that this kind of oral contraceptive was more dangerous and allowing them to stay on the market for 12 years.

The FDA said it would carefully review the petition.

Third-generation birth-control pills were developed in the 1980s in an attempt to create an oral contraceptive that caused fewer side effects than earlier versions. In December 1995, three independent studies concluded that third-generation pills were about twice as likely as second-generation versions to cause blood clots.

Since then, more studies have confirmed that finding, according to Public Citizen.

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