Monday, September 28, 2009
Researchers and Advocates Voice Health Concerns Over Yaz and Yasmin Birth Control Pills
NY Times: Health Concerns Over Popular Contraceptives, by Natasha Singer:
The oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin are the top-selling pharmaceutical line for Bayer HealthCare, largely as a result of marketing that presents them as much more than mere pregnancy prevention.
Yaz, in particular, the top-selling birth control pill in the United States, owes much of its popularity to multimillion-dollar ad campaigns that have promoted the drug as a quality-of-life treatment to combat acne and severe premenstrual depression.
Yaz, a newer sister drug to Yasmin, contains less estrogen. The franchise had worldwide sales of about $1.8 billion last year, based on Bayer’s successful positioning of Yasmin and Yaz as the go-to drug brands for women under 35.
But recently, the Yaz line’s image has been clouded by concerns from some researchers, health advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers. They say that the drugs put women at higher risk for blood clots, strokes and other health problems than some other birth control pills do. . . .