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Contraceptive pill/patch/ring costs soaring in USA

 
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:57 pm    Post subject: Contraceptive pill/patch/ring costs soaring in USA Reply with quote

More compulsory pregnancy?

The Ms. Magazine article also has a lot of info about the shenanigans by George Bush and Congress to keep birth control out of the hands of low-income women. It's all about the abstinence, dontcha know.

Quote:
... Millions of women who purchase contraceptives at student and community health clinics across the country have seen prices go from about $10 a month to anywhere between $30 and $50. Such out-of-reach prices are putting intense financial stress on women who can’t afford to pay retail for birth control. And the pressure goes beyond the individual level: Some family planning clinics serving low-income women may be forced to shut down if prices aren’t soon reduced, leaving poor women with even fewer resources to determine the number and spacing of their children.

... The soaring costs are the result of an obscure provision in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 that stripped away a long standing incentive encouraging drug companies to provide steeply discounted birth control to certain low-cost health-care providers. The law took effect in January, forcing many health clinics across the country to ratchet up their prices. Some temporarily defrayed costs by stockpiling drugs before the law took effect, but those reserves are rapidly depleting.

Pro-choice advocates see the change as part of a broader attack on contraception access. “It’s a horror,” says Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who has led the fight in Congress to preserve access to birth control. She points to U.S. pharmacists refusing for personal or religious reasons to fill birth control prescriptions, and four states— Arkansas, Georgia, South Dakota and Mississippi—enacting laws allowing them to do so. She also cites a crackdown on birth control by anti-choice Republicans in Congress and the White House. In 2002, the Department of Defense approved a plan to make emergency contraception (EC) available at all military treatment facilities, but political appointees later reversed the decision. And in 2004, the Department of Justice did not include EC in its recommendations for treating sexual-assault victims—an omission Maloney calls intentional.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still getting worse ... now legislation to reduce the deficit in the United States got passed without many noticing that it cut discount rates for contraception at clinics that serve low-income women.

Loathsome. Billions and billions are being spent on killing people in Iraq, which is certainly a leading cause of this deficit, and they're nickel and diming on birth control. And hence causing unwanted pregnancies. And because of the lack of access to abortion, let's call it what it is.

Enforced pregnancy of poor women.

Quote:
As the birth control pricing crisis continues, advocates for affordable contraceptives push for action on corrective legislation. Birth control that once cost $5 to $10 per month now sell for $40 to $50, reports the News and Observer. The increased prices have caused some of the 400 clinics effected by the crisis to stop stocking some contraceptives, and many report decreases in the amount of contraceptives sold, according to the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report.

Prices have risen due to a little-noticed provision of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), which went into effect January 2007. The provision prevents college clinics and hundreds of clinics that serve women with low incomes from purchasing birth control from drug companies at an extremely discounted rate. Corrective measures have been introduced in both the House and the Senate.


Ms. Magazine.
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vee michel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed this personally -- I used to get birth control through a University health clinic, and the cost quadrupled last year because of this issue. It is a problem for young women in college. Many do not have $30-40 a month to spend on the pill. I would have thought that subsidized contraceptives were the one thing all parties could agree on.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is just..... nuts.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meanwhile, hypocrites in Congress (like Senator Clinton) prattle on about how they're not in favour of repealing Roe vs Wade, but are in favour of decreasing the need for abortions. This measure puts the lie to that statement.

Other than religious motivations, what could possibly be behind this "enforced pregnancy" of lower-income women? A desire to ensure a ready supply of cheap labour, perhaps? Getting ready for Soylent Green production? What?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hephaestion wrote:
Other than religious motivations, what could possibly be behind this "enforced pregnancy" of lower-income women? A desire to ensure a ready supply of cheap labour, perhaps? Getting ready for Soylent Green production? What?

Kind of hard to put yourself in that mindset, but I'm guessing:

a) Control over women. That's what we're for, dontcha know, making babies, and the younger we start, the better. Gets rid of that pesky idea that we might want to do something else or in addition, equal opportunity, an education, all that stuff, that's passé.

b) Control over lower-income people in general ... when you're struggling to feed a family, you aren't going on strike (even assuming you're in a union), or questioning the shit that's going on at the top. No time for politics, no time for agitation, you're too swamped.

c) Younger, less educated, more desperate parents are easier to control.

And of course, there's the religious motivation. Soylent Green? Sometimes you've gotta wonder, eh?
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elmateo
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about the "I don't care" and "Why should I pay"? I think these responses result in the things being discussed, but they seem overly complex for most people. And knowing the kinds of idiots that get elected in the US (I am amazed at the baffoons in Canada, and I think we have a higher standard of intelligence in our elected officials)... I can't help but think that the simpler the explanation the more likely it is to be true, at least for a good number of them. I don't think they get into the real deep processing of the issues - they just see money going out to someone, they don't understand why they should have to pay for that person, and so they think it is wrong. It helps if they have religious reasons in this case... but think of how people react to welfare payments. Yes there is the intellectual rationalizations that drive the campaigns against welfare, but the majority opposed and even elected officials (telling you either how lowly our elected officials are in terms of setting intellectual trends or how powerful the small think tanks actually are) have the simplest reasons to be against it: "I don't want to pay for that welfare bum". Its not the "reason" why the right is against it, but it certainly justifies the position well-enough for most people.

So- I think the biggest reason is people say "Why should I pay for a woman's birth control pill, she's the one that got pregnant anyways". There are lots of things wrong with that statement, and a lot of very serious consequences - but I don't think they get factored into most people's opinions often.
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Cartman
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then there was that problem of evil Canadian companies selling drugs in the US via the interweb.
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Diane Demorney
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to go all tinfoil hat ... but there is the added bonus of a whole new generation of cannonfodder to consider.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is that.

And if you're in the USA, forcing American women to have babies cuts down on the need for illegal immigration. You think I'm joking? I'm not.
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elmateo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Population politics, disgusting.

Interesting article titled "Re-Imagining the Population Debate" looks at the population debate from a different lens, looking back to what Malthus was writing about when he wrote his much loved exponential population, linear food model.

Article here:
http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/item.shtml?x=51980

(I read the article in a gender-analysis class of international development policy in the context of women's sexual and reproductive health and rights)

It puts a big class spin on the population debate and in the context of a feminist analysis - women's reproductive health/"rights" (difficult concept to have in a Marxist analysis in my opinion) becomes a tool for the capitalist economy. Women produce the workers, and also they are the cause of the overpopulation. At this point the women's reproductive health no longer becomes their own, but a component of the capitalist system to be controlled and manipulated for the benefit of the capitalist economy.
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sparqui
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An excerpt from a study worth reading:

Quote:
“Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights: Some Thoughts on ‘The Malthus Factor’ in Europe.”

Only in a society in which resources are more equitably apportioned will we be able to move beyond the Malthusian politics of population to a consideration of human reproductive rights and needs. In the meantime, the ideas of a "population problem" and a "tragedy of the commons" will be constantly mobilized to obscure the nature of capitalist exploitation — and, along with it, the role of reproduction within capitalist economy. The illusion that the poor’s economic and reproductive behaviour is the source of most of their misery, and that capitalism and private resource ownership is their only source of hope, will continue to be propagated. The claim that their reproductive behaviour is largely irrational will meanwhile continue to obscure the actual determinants of fertility.

Eric Ross writing on ‘The Malthus Factor Poverty, Politics and Population in Capitalist Development’ for Corner House Briefing 20 first published July 2000 raises some important issues that help explain some of the difficulties we are facing today in Europe in our fight to keep sexual and reproductive rights and health on the agenda. When we speak about migrant rights being ignored and the differences between our rights in different parts of Europe it is useful to put the issue of SHRH into a global and historical context.

For a book I am writing on Global Body Politics (to be published with Zed Books next year) I have been revisiting the international debate leading up to the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo 1994 and pondering some of difficulties we continue to face 13 years later. In coming across the clash among environmentalist, population policy experts and feminists particularly in the USA in the I wondered whether feminists in Europe could learn from their analysis.

Inequalities of the Global South and the Global North

From all the feminist work on sexual and reproductive rights and health it is clear that reproductive rights and health cannot be viewed only as technical issues of access and availability or services but touch on profound economic, social and political gender inequalities. The rise of conservative religious or ethnic ‘fundamentalist’ movements and groups in the last years has had a profound impact on women’s lives, albeit differently according to race, class, caste, age etc., around the world. Roughly speaking, in the Global South these forces feed on insecurities created by the loss of livelihoods in urban and rural areas evoking explicitly anti-women sentiments as a way to provide cultural identity. In the Global North, people’s sense of economic insecurity and the loss of self in the mire of consumerism have led to attacks by fundamentalist right-wing groups that are sexist, racist and xenophobic.

Internationally and nationally the political economic and cultural disruption of these fundamentalisms are challenging women’s hard-won rights to define a sexual rights and reproductive health agenda, to express their sexual and reproductive rights, and to have access to resources that assure life choices leading to reproductive health and well-being...

...As we can observe in recent debates on Climate Change fears of ‘over population’ are enduring in popular thinking, obscuring the structural and systemic roots of poverty, inequality and environmental deterioration. Current debates about globalization, welfare, the minimum wage and migration continue to be influenced by Malthusian arguments which reaffirm the privileges of the few over the hopes of the many.

We need to be very aware as we fight for women’s rights for sexual and reproductive choice in our different European states that we do not fall into a neo-Malthusian trap. We need to be very clear that sexual and reproductive rights and health is linked to fundamental inequalities that are evident within Europe and outside Europe, and to ensure that women living in Europe or any where in the world are entitled to the same rights, economic, social and political.


http://europeanfeministforum.org/spip.php?article370
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some marginally good news from South Dakota. A Senate committee has determined that pharmacists can no longer use a law forbidding the dispensation of drugs that could cause an abortion (!) to refuse to provide birth control pills. Yeah, no shit.

Uh, if you want to reduce abortions, make contraception easily available. Unless again we're looking at more enforced pregnancy.

Anyway, the bill is headed to the SD Senate for debate.

Quote:
... State law allows pharmacists to refuse to dispense medication if they believe it would cause an abortion or be used in a suicide. SB164 says pharmacists cannot use that abortion law to refuse to dispense birth control.

The Health and Welfare Committee voted 4-3 to send the bill to the full Senate for further debate.

The bill's main sponsor, Sen. Ed Olson, R-Mitchell, said he believes pharmacists should dispense birth control pills and other contraceptive prescriptions. Women need to make birth control decisions without interference by government, and access to birth control can help reduce abortions, he said.

... But Deb Fischer-Clemens of Avera Health said pharmacists and other health care workers need the legal right to follow their consciences. Fischer-Clemens, a nurse, said the health system run by Catholic nuns gives its employees the right to follow their consciences on the job.


Sioux City Journal.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But Deb Fischer-Clemens of Avera Health said pharmacists and other health care workers need the legal right to follow their consciences.


If your "conscience" won't allow you to do your JOB, do what I did when I found myself having to call senior citizens in old age care homes when I was working at a "telemarketing" job... QUIT YOUR EFFING JOB!

Asshole!
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hear, hear. Which is why the entire SD law should be scrapped; saying that you'll allow people to prescribe according to their consciences around drugs that could induce an abortion or be used in a suicide (guess this is an anti-euthanasia thing?) just opens the door to allowing pharmacists to restrict access to contraception as well.

Legal drugs. Available with a prescription. Deal with it. (Note, though, that we don't have RU-486 in Canada.)
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argh. Argh. Argh.

A bunch of assholes in the United States are launching a "Protest the Pill Day '08: The Pill Kills Babies" and are planning demonstrations all over the place.

Argh.

Quote:
'Pro-Lifers' Plan National Protest of Contraception

Tired of the same-old lame protests outside of abortion clinics? Looking to impose your religious beliefs in other people's lives in a new and exciting way? The pro-life movement would like to expand your horizons.

On June 7th, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that gave married people the right to use contraception, the American Life League, along with Pro-Life Wisconsin and Pharmacists for Life International Associate groups want you to join them in protesting in front of facilities that distribute birth control products. The national day against contraception, Protest the Pill Day '08: The Pill Kills Babies, was started to convince the American people of a simple and imaginative idea: attempting to prevent abortion is abortion too. These arguments have been confounded by diabolical scientists and experts who insistently point out there's no evidence to support that the birth control pill works the way these groups claim. As we all know, however, if ideology waited for science to prove scientific points, our ancestors would have never have spent all those years wandering the then-flat earth.

The campaign website is chock full of important information and you don't want to miss the informative "Talking Points" section. Here's a sampling:

Q: The Supreme Court has ruled that it's my right to privacy - who do you think you are to say otherwise?

A: On June 7, 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Griswold v. Connecticut decision. The Supreme Court justices first presumed that previous Court decisions dealing with a citizen's right to liberty and security that prohibited invasion of one's home and acquisition of evidence that might later be used to convict him of a crime also addressed privacy within marriage. In fact, the justices argued, "The concept of liberty is not so restricted... it embraces the right of marital privacy though that right is not mentioned explicitly [emphasis added] in the Constitution" and is based on "specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights [which] have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance."

This confusing language, which has no relationship whatsoever to what the Founding Fathers intended, gave married women permission to use the birth control pill. The Supreme Court literally created the "right to privacy" out of thin air.

We now know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that not only did the Supreme Court literally make up the right that you claim gives you permission to use birth control, but the most popular form of birth control, the pill, can kill innocent preborn children. If there is a chance that human beings are going to be murdered, I am going to do everything in my power to help prevent that from happening. If you knew there was a chance that someone might poison your neighbor, don't you think you would try to notify your neighbor and do as much as you could to help save a life?


And before you despair that your right to privacy is being lost, take comfort in the knowledge that once we all finally live in a country where ideology is valued over evidence and our government is run by and for those who subscribe, or succumb, to the exciting agenda of these groups...privacy will no longer be needed. Your point of view and way of life will, conveniently, be decided for you. So what are you waiting for?! Sign up now!


RH Reality Check (Creative Commons site)
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If there is a chance that human beings are going to be murdered, I am going to do everything in my power to help prevent that from happening.


"Support our Troops".
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Pre-born"? Sure, and that pile of lumber over there is my "pre-built" house... Rolling Eyes

These whack-os are akin to the type of nutcakes that condemn masturbation because it's "homosexual sex" with yourself. Twilight Zone music time...
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems McCain's support of Viagra over oral contraceptives has brought the issue out in the open, and Amanda Marcotte says that that is indeed a Good Thing. Because it puts the spotlight on the scary folks who want to ban abortion, birth control, and even sex ... who are too easily dismissed as the lunatic fringe. Marcotte details the way that incremental erosion of access to contraception can take place.

Compelling article.

Quote:
A recent video of John McCain unable to say that it's unfair for insurance companies to cover Viagra but not birth control left pro-choicers rejoicing. For a long time now, we've been fighting to get the word out that right wing fanatics are hostile to contraception, and now we have first rate evidence of a politician pandering to anti-contraception forces. Now the doubters will have a lot less ground to work with. Now we're that much closer to exposing the agenda of the anti-choice movement, which is not just anti-abortion -- but anti-contraception, anti-sex education, and homophobic.

On this issue, pro-choicers should have a slam dunk, right? Ninety-eight percent of women will use contraception at some point in their lives, and presumably most of the men who have partnered with women who use it support that right as well. Most advocates for any issue wish they had that kind of broad base of support. When people hear that such a popular right is under attack, surely they will swarm as one voting bloc that gives new meaning to the phrase "vast majority" to retaliate against a narrow band of extremists, right? I'd like to think so. Most of the time, I do think that we have widespread support for the right to use contraception, support that will eagerly fight to support that right under attack from a very small minority.

But then I saw this video with Bill O'Reilly defending McCain, and I started to feel less sure of how firm the pro-choice ground is on this issue. O'Reilly doesn't come right out and attack the right to use the birth control pill. But he does define it as if it's a luxury item, in fact putting it in the same category as eating at a restaurant. (Women's choice to have sexual intercourse, according to O'Reilly, is a luxury, but for men, it's a medical necessity. No, really.) The double standard nauseates, but the framing of the issue will win over a lot of people who think of themselves as pro-choice on contraception. The implication that sluts have to pay for their own sinful behavior will resonate with a lot of people, as will the idea that if you can't afford the $30-$50 a month out of pocket for birth control pills, you don't deserve to have sex.

The rule to remember with anti-choicers is that they're crazy but not stupid. They know that openly advocating for a ban on contraception won't work, but they do believe, with good reason, that they can chip away at the right to use contraception slowly so that people don't even see it coming. After all, they've had a lot of practice doing this to abortion rights, which also enjoy the support of the majority.

Most people see that Roe v. Wade hasn't been overturned outright and feel secure with the right to abortion. Little do they know that the incremental chipping away at abortion rights has, for a lot of women, meant that Roe doesn't exist in any practical way. If you live far away from an abortion clinic, or can't afford an abortion, or have to go through waiting periods and other forms of legal harassment, the amount of effort and money you put into getting an abortion doesn't differ from what you'd have to put out if abortion was illegal. For them, the difference between legal and illegal abortion is a technicality on paper, not a lived experience. But with it being technically legal, most Americans are complacent on the issue.

Anti-choicers fully intend to use the same strategy to chip away at your right to contraception, getting rid of it in practical terms for many women while the rest of us rest on our laurels, unaware of how much ground we've lost. We know their methods, because of the abortion rights war. Target vulnerable populations first, people with little political power, such as young women, women of color, and poor women. Redefining hormonal birth control not as a medication necessary for a healthy life, but as a luxury that should only be available to those who can pay for it, is a big step in targeting the young and poor. Age restrictions on things like emergency contraception also play a role. Young women, who are the least likely to have adequate experience using condoms (leading to breakage), and are the most likely to be raped, have the greatest need for emergency contraception, but if they're under 18, they're out of luck, thanks to anti-choice tactics. They'll have to get that abortion instead, in many cases. But they don't have much political power, so they need the rest of us to stand up for them.

Rural women and poor women are the main targets of "conscience clauses," which aren't about religious freedom as advertised, but about restricting access to birth control pills, one judgmental horror show of a fundamentalist Christian pretending to be a professional pharmacist at a time. For urban women with a decent amount of money, going to the next pharmacist who's willing to do his damn job doesn't take much effort. But for women living in isolated areas, or who don't have the time or travel range in the city because of poverty, being refused service in a pharmacy could mean the difference between getting the pills and not.

Unfortunately, I can easily see a huge number of Americans who technically support the right to contraception rolling over for the incremental strategy. We are indeed frogs sitting in pots of water on this issue. Anti-choicers aren't going to turn the heat up to 10 right away, but will gradually turn it up a little (deprive teenagers and poor women of their access and then their rights) so that we don't notice it, until it's too late and we're all boiling in water. But it doesn't have to be that way. With pro-choicers out there spreading the word and making the links between things like this John McCain video and the crazies who are out to take away your birth control pills, maybe we can turn down the heat.


RH Reality Check (material on this site under Creative Commons).
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the NuvaRing safe, asks Mother Jones?

Hmm.

Quote:
... A mother dying in front of her toddler? That's hardly the message of NuvaRing's sassy marketing, which is all about liberation from the drudgery of daily birth control. Manufacturer Organon—bought in 2007 by Schering-Plough, which is now merging with Merck—promotes the first-of-its-kind contraceptive with magazine ads proclaiming, "Let Freedom Ring." Its ubiquitous TV spot, a play on Busby Berkeley musicals, features synchronized swimmers posing as birth control pills. "Maybe it's time to break free from the pack," the voice-over suggests as the women abandon their repetitive routine.

... While all hormone-based contraceptives increase a woman's chance of developing blood clots (which also cause strokes), this effect is more common with some than with others. The riskiest ones employ third-generation hormones, like desogestrel. (The ring uses a related compound.) These pills (brands such as Desogen, Mircette, and Cyclessa) were developed in the 1980s to lessen the pill's minor side effects, like acne and facial hair. Although ineffective at this—a point the fda acknowledges—and no better as birth control, either, the pills remain on the market.

... NuvaRing actually contains a lower hormone dose than most oral contraceptives, a fact its ads emphasize. But while birth control pills lose up to half their hormones in the digestive tract, the ring's dose is absorbed directly into the blood. Its package insert says there are no data on whether this route makes NuvaRing any riskier than taking pills. But that, say lawyers suing the company, is because Organon never studied the question before it marketed the ring. Nor did the fda demand it—the agency based its approval largely on studies involving pills.

Since 2001, when the fda green-lighted NuvaRing, the agency has received reports of at least 300 serious adverse events, including strokes, nonfatal blood clots, and fatalities, says Scott. (The company says it doesn't keep a tally, but forwards all such reports to the fda.) More than 100 pending lawsuits attribute injuries to the device.

... fda officials did not respond to our repeated inquiries.

... While the company never studied its risks vis-à-vis other contraceptives, two research teams have done so in recent years, measuring blood factors linked to clot formation. A group from Oregon Health & Science University—funded in part by Organon—concluded that switching from the pill to the ring seems to reduce the likelihood of clotting. The other group, which included Frits Rosendaal, an epidemiologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, tested women rotating between the ring, the patch, and second-generation pills, and reached the opposite conclusion: that NuvaRing appears to be riskier than second-generation pills.
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bshmr
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All media is not the same, as this (AP orgin) story shows:

Birth Control Pills Recalled Due to Lack of Contraceptive
5:57 am, February 1, 2012, by Jason M. Vaughn
Quote:
NEW YORK - Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Tuesday announced a recall of some birth control pills in the United States, because they may not contain enough contraceptive to prevent pregnancy.
According to a report from FOX News, Pfizer said the birth control pills posed no health threat to women but urged consumers affected by the recall to “begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception immediately.”

...

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wdaf-news/~3/XSND7LfKDmY/

http://www.kctv5.com/story/16644895/pfizer-recalls-28-lots-of-birth...

The AP and Rueters RSS feeds (including Health) didn't publicize the story at the time. Neither did HealthFinder.gov
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al-Qa'bong
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Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 7350
Location: A monistic vulgarity in which nobility and wisdom have been exchanged for a pale belief in progress

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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