New York Times editorial: allow birth control patch lawsuits

ortho.jpgEvery now and then there is clarity on the Left.

Feminists hyperprotect contraceptives from adverse publicity, since they supposedly equalize the sex-playing field. They're also a huge money maker.

We on the Right are called Neanderthals for pointing out hormonal contraceptives in particular are dangerous to women, infusing small or large amounts of artificial female steroids into a woman's body on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and decades-long basis. With no more information than that, red flags should be raised. But feminists bat them down.

Now comes an April 14 New York Times editorial calling for harmed women to have the freedom to sue the manufacturer of the dangerous Ortho Evra bc patch...

Johnson & Johnson obscured the fact that its Ortho Evra birth control patch delivered much more estrogen than standard birth control pills, thereby increasing the risk of blood clots and strokes. More than 3,000 women and their families have sued the company.

The company is arguing in court that the women can't sue because the patch and its labeling were approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the presumed authority on drug safety. But the disturbing element is that the company seems to have done its best to mislead the FDA, as revealed in company documents made public as a result of the lawsuits....

The FDA has since required label changes citing evidence that patch users are at higher risk of developing serious blood clots than women using birth control pills. Even so, the agency continues to insist that Ortho Evra is a safe and effective method of contraception.

Whatever the merits of this case, it would be a mistake to rely solely on the FDA's judgment. The agency is short of skilled scientists. If a company buries important information deep in the bowels of a report, the agency may not detect it or appreciate its significance. Injured patients should not lose the right to sue if they are harmed by duplicitous manufacturers.

Will feminists now include the NYT editorial board in their list of Neanderthals?


Comments:

Feminists don't want unsafe drugs on the market any more than anyone else does. We, however, are not as extreme as to believe that if one is bad, they all are. I will support/fund research facilities that actively look for safe and effective BC. (And BC for men!)

Posted by: Edyt at April 15, 2008 12:14 PM


I wouldnt call you Neanderthals. Id call you Luddites, for starters. You insist contraceptives are 'dangerous' but you dont give supporting statistics, research and studies which show *how* dangerous they are. I remember reading several articles on 'the patch' when it came out with some questions about it. But just how high IS the risk? 3000 people have sued the company. How many women have used it? and how may of that 3000 have valid cases and arent just jumping on what they may perceive to be a gravy train?

Posted by: TexasRed at April 15, 2008 12:26 PM


I was on the Ortho Evra BC patch and hated it. While personal accounts are seldom valid in any logical argument, something about the patch just "felt wrong". I constantly threw up on it, and it did little for my acne condition...I believe it was more the type of estrogen than the amount of estrogen itself- it has been shown some types are a lot safer than others. I haven't had any real adverse side effects (I wasn't on it for long), but I know it was bad news.

I cannot say that all birth control is as dangerous (though all drugs have their risks, it's a given)...I think Rae and PIP will back me up as fellow biologists/biochemists and say that different forms of estrogenic chemicals have different potentials for danger in the body. I could look at some different estrogens in birth control pills and point out differences in the molecular makeup that alter their chemical properties (though Rae might be a little better at it!).

Posted by: Lyssie at April 15, 2008 1:04 PM


I had two friends using Depo who thought it was the greatest thing since indoor plumbing. A third friend took it and everyone started expecting her head to rotate 360 and pea soup to go everywhere. I never had any trouble with bc pills - I started taking them in 68 when I got married. A friend started taking them about the same time and started losing her hair. Her position was if she was bald it wasnt too likely she'd need to worry about contraceptives. Different things work for different people and dont work for others. But condemning all hormone based contraceptives for problems only a small percentage have with them isnt rational.

Posted by: TexasRed at April 15, 2008 1:42 PM


Lyssie,

I have heard several similar accounts of the patch similar to yours.

Posted by: Elizabeth at April 15, 2008 2:05 PM


I've been on the pill Yasmin for about 3 years and everythings going peachy for me : ) I don't expect to take it forever though. In a few years maybe I'll want a baby and stop taking them. Then who knows I might start back up.

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 2:48 PM


I'll be twenty in three months I have to start worrying about my biological clock. Tic-tock.

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 2:48 PM


Your clock doesn't really start ticking until 35, Jess. :) You've got lots of time, girl. From someone who had her last baby at 40.

Posted by: Carla at April 15, 2008 2:54 PM


We on the Right are called Neanderthals for pointing out hormonal contraceptives in particular are dangerous to women
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, plenty of right-wing conservative Christians take the pill.
For a non-smoking woman uder 40, the chances of serious health conplications fron the pill is about ZERO. The pill also provides many women a myriad of health benefits, including reducing the rate of some types of cancer.
I'd love to see your stats on "death by hormonal contraception." I bet they're a tiny fraction of the number of deaths caused by the complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

Posted by: Laura at April 15, 2008 2:54 PM


Carla, the worlds most prolific mother had around 60 kids. I better start now if I want to beat that : P

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 3:00 PM


Talk about a quiverfull. After the first 30, "Ok God I think you blessed us enough..."

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 3:01 PM


http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_largest_number_of_children_born_to_one_woman

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 3:03 PM


Estrogen used to be on the EPA list of suspected carcinogens.

A few years ago it was moved to the list of known carcinogens.

Since that big women's health study that linked HRT to cancer and heart disease, thousands of women quit taking it. Two years later the breast cancer rate was down 6% and has remained at that level ever since.

The New England Journal of Medicine had an article about the lower number of cases since the number of women on HRT was substantially reduced.

Posted by: Hippie at April 15, 2008 3:06 PM


Jess,
Um. You may aspire to 60 children. I would say go, babe, go!! Not me. I'm tired enough, thanks!! :)

Posted by: Carla at April 15, 2008 3:10 PM


Jess is trying to beat the Dugar family....

Posted by: RSD at April 15, 2008 3:16 PM


The pill also provides many women a myriad of health benefits, including reducing the rate of some types of cancer.

Posted by: Laura at April 15, 2008 2:54 PM

Reducing the risk of ovarian cancer is a minimal benefit because ovarian cancer is so rare. So instead of 1 in 10,000, your risk goes down to 1 in 20,000. Big deal.

Whereas lifetime breast cancer risk is already like 1 in 10. You can't really afford for it to go up at all.

People have been sold this notion that having kids later is better, but how great is it really if you wait till you are 30 to have kids only to die at 50 of cancer? Thousands of real women die every year from cancer because they wait to have kids. They might have been happier had they had kids when they were 20 and lived till 80 and got to see their grandkids too. They miss all those wonderful years with their family because they were told that waiting would be more fun. So sad.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 15, 2008 3:19 PM


I really didn't PLAN to wait. I didn't get married until 28. Had 2 miscarriages and all other children came when they were supposed to. That's just the way my life worked out I guess.
I do hear what you are saying though Anon. I think women wait because college and careers become more important than starting a family.

Posted by: Carla at April 15, 2008 3:22 PM


Posted by: Anonymous at April 15, 2008 3:19 PM


that was me

Posted by: hippie at April 15, 2008 3:24 PM


Carla, the worlds most prolific mother had around 60 kids. I better start now if I want to beat that : P

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 3:00 PM
*******************
Wasnt she a Russian woman who had a whole bunch of multiple births, and most of her children died?

Posted by: TexasRed at April 15, 2008 3:36 PM


People have been sold this notion that having kids later is better, but how great is it really if you wait till you are 30 to have kids only to die at 50 of cancer? Thousands of real women die every year from cancer because they wait to have kids. They might have been happier had they had kids when they were 20 and lived till 80 and got to see their grandkids too. They miss all those wonderful years with their family because they were told that waiting would be more fun. So sad.


Posted by: Anonymous at April 15, 2008 3:19 PM
*******************
Have kids at 18 to 'prevent cancer'?
Thats nuts.

Posted by: TexasRed at April 15, 2008 3:38 PM


http://www.oncolink.org/types/article.cfm?c=3&s=5&ss=33&id=8320

on breast cancer

Posted by: TexasRed at April 15, 2008 3:41 PM


Jess,

are you the one who wants to have lots of kids? Like 8 or something? I can't remember if it was you that I heard that from or not...

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at April 15, 2008 4:20 PM


I had a friend who got a rash on the patch. I've been on depo and it's been working just fine. The pill's estrogen made my anti-seizure med level go out of whack. Although, the main downside with depo is that, because there is no estrogen, no clear skin anymore. But I'm going to see a dermatologist (It's not too bad, but I'm vain I know) tomorrow and hopefully things will work out.

Posted by: prettyinpink at April 15, 2008 4:27 PM


I just stopped taking the pill... because I won't be needing it for a few months yet (grr...), and let me say something:

If being doped up on estrogen is what birth control is all about then I say, so be it! For PMS has come back to me with a vengeance! I am bloated! I am crabby! I spent eight dollars on ice cream last night because I had to! To top it all off, it isn't just my ovaries that are giving me grief but my entire baby-making apparatus hurts to the point where I can actually make out the shape of my uterus based on the pain!

For those who say that these things are natural, I say to you: begone! Give me my tiny once-daily estrogen-filled pill that not only prevents pregnancy, but makes this time of the month less unpleasant!

With that little bit of inspiration, I am off. Dinner.

I'm not hungry... or am I?

I CAN'T DECIDE, PEOPLE!!!!

Since I am under 40 and a non-smoker I will take the benefits of the pill (many-many-many) over the risks (few-few-few) any day... starting again in June.

Posted by: Leah at April 15, 2008 5:35 PM


TexasRed, no actually she did have many multiple births but I think only two or three didn't survive infancy. An older friend of mine was one of sixteen, all survived infancy to the best of my knowledge. Some people just have a bunch of kids. I guess to make up for all those single gals who choose shoes over having children.

Bobby, I used to want to have a bunch of kids, like 8, but then my sister and I were talking about how nice it was just the two of us growing so close and everything and I thought maybe it would be better to just have two. I guess I'll have as many kids as I get pregnant with : /

But I better hurry...tic tock tic tock!

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 5:55 PM


Why won't you need the pill for a few months Leah are you preggers?

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 5:56 PM


"But I better hurry...tic tock tic tock!"

hehe

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at April 15, 2008 6:21 PM


Actually, Jess, let me ask you something else. I don't really have an agenda here, but a lot of people I know who grew up with only one sibling seem to have a sort of "polar opposites" thing going between the two of them. Like, one child will be everything their parents had hoped for, and the other one will not really have any direction in life (the bad kind, not the good kind of no direction) or whatever. For example, I only have one brother, and I'm going for my PhD and he's a professional wrestler. Do you and your sister have something like this where one of you is well on your way and the other lacking direction or rebelling against your parents or something like that? God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at April 15, 2008 6:35 PM


Noooooo, Jess. In fact, thanks to the pill, I'm not! I am simply sans lovin' until June and there's NO way I'm having sex with anyone in the meantime, thanks. And the pill is expensive, so I thought I'd stockpile for a few months. They don't expire for a while, so it's no biggie...

except the pms. That's a HUGIE!

In case anyone was wondering, I had forgotten earlier that I had already eaten.

I would also like to say that at least the Pill is putting something into our bodies that is already there. It isn't like those people who pump their kids full of speed because they "have ADHD." It's a natural substance--just in greater doses.

Posted by: Leah at April 15, 2008 7:11 PM


Lol Bobby no we aren't like that, we're both bad apples. No jk, seriously though, we both have our bad and our good moments. When I was 13 my Mom said I was going to cause her and my father to get a divorce (they didn't, happily going on 25 years) while my sister was the star of the drama club, honor student etc. Then the summer before college my Mom told me she always thought I was going to be the wild child but I turned out to be doing great, much better then my sister (at the time in a pretty bad relationship). Now my sister and I are both in college, she is about to graduate and probably go for her masters, I've been doing ok with my various athletic activities and community service so I guess we're doing alright.

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 7:30 PM


Well that and my parents wanted a son. So I guess my sister and I are doing fine for two daughters : )
God love you and your family Bobby : )

Posted by: Jess at April 15, 2008 7:32 PM


birth control pills contain artificial estrogen and progesterone. Its not the natural hormone that is produced by the body.

And being on the pill for at least 10 years can have a great effect on fertility. If "Female A" took birth control for ten years, then got married, was still on it, and then two years later, decided she wanted a child, it would effect her being able to conceive.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at April 15, 2008 7:34 PM


Great, thanks for sharing. Glad to hear you're not the "bad" child, hehe :) Thank you for your loving words to my family :)

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at April 15, 2008 7:39 PM


LizfromNebraska, you wrote: "And being on the pill for at least 10 years can have a great effect on fertility."

Document this please. Where did you get this idea?

Here's what webmd has to say: http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20070508/past-pill-use-doesnt-lower-fertility

Also read this: http://www.ovulation-calculator.com/pregnancy/thepill.htm

Money quote: "The pill has not be shown to decrease fertility (though it may take some time after you discontinue the pill for hormones levels to regulate). This can be a source of frustration for women who want to become pregnant immediatley after they stop taking the pill! If you are planning a pregnancy, it is not unusual for the body to take 3 months to get "synchronized" after going off the pill. In rare instances, it may take as long as 6 months. "

Posted by: SoMG at April 15, 2008 7:59 PM


On the other hand, it's hard to find subjects for a study if you require that all subjects take the pill for ten years or more before trying to conceive. So the question whether being on the pill for ten years or more affects future fertility is difficult to study.

Posted by: SoMG at April 15, 2008 8:05 PM


Bobby, I don't think that's just a two-child thing. I have four brothers and we're all totally different. My older brother's definitely more of the "good" kid, while I was more rebellious growing up (but I graduated college before he did, so I win)... my younger brother's still in high school, and he used to be the favorite but now he doesn't really care about anything except getting a girlfriend so my parents are trying to get him up off his ass... haha... younger than that is my introverted geeky brother (takes after my dad), and the youngest is a wild child who does anything for attention and often gets it. If my prediction is right, he's going to drive my parents crazier than any of us did, since he's gotten away with so much growing up. And he's the baby, so it goes without saying. :P

Like Jess said, we're all bad apples at one point or another, haha. I would've never made it outta my house alive if it weren't for my father holding my mom back sometimes!! Seriously, growing up sucks.

Posted by: Edyt at April 15, 2008 8:33 PM


Leah,
There is a big difference between the synthetic estrogen that is in birth control pills and the estrogen that is from our ovaries.

Posted by: Carla at April 15, 2008 8:41 PM


Y'know...sure, the birth control pill may cause cancer, but so what? Everything causes cancer. Hell, conception "cause" cancer, because once sperm meets ova, many cell divisions occur and continue occur throughout our lives. Every cell division leads to the opportunity for mutation which has the opportunity to lead to cancer.

Did you know, Red-40, a common food dye is also a carcinogen, but I think the reason why nobody would complain about that one is because it has nothing to do with sex.

Posted by: Rae at April 15, 2008 9:22 PM


Did you know, Red-40, a common food dye is also a carcinogen, but I think the reason why nobody would complain about that one is because it has nothing to do with sex.

Oh my god, Rae, I think you hit something big.

Posted by: Edyt at April 15, 2008 9:35 PM


@Edyt: I knowz! It's like...a total conspiracy or...something.

Posted by: Rae at April 15, 2008 9:41 PM


I thank God every morning for the "plumbing" I was born with.

Posted by: Mike at April 15, 2008 11:26 PM


The FDA is not capable, nor is it any longer inclined to look after the best health interests of the populace. There's too much money and reward in doing otherwise.
The organization to which I belong spent some special effort to obtain information about the producer of Mifepristone/misoprostil regimen distributed in the U.S.. For most drug products, this information is is freely given on the product package itself, and in the accompanying literature. If a product is shown to be harmful, patients and health care providers should be able to locate the manufacturer to report the harm, and serve up a lawsuit if that's appropriate. But Nooooooooooooo the FDA was holding back this info from the public and allowing the producer/distributor to do the same. Only by aggressive application of the Freedom of Information Act was this information pried out of our FDA.
Should we trust a regulatory organization stupid enough to place Plan B over the counter so that child molesters can purchase it and give it to underage girls whom they've been pimping/raping?
I don't think so.

Posted by: KB at April 16, 2008 12:43 AM


I thank God every morning for the "plumbing" I was born with.

Posted by: Mike at April 15, 2008 11:26 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I changed to Kohler fixtures and replaced the deteriorating system with overhead copper pipes.

Posted by: Laura at April 16, 2008 1:48 AM


"People have been sold this notion that having kids later is better, but how great is it really if you wait till you are 30 to have kids only to die at 50 of cancer? Thousands of real women die every year from cancer because they wait to have kids. They might have been happier had they had kids when they were 20 and lived till 80 and got to see their grandkids too. They miss all those wonderful years with their family because they were told that waiting would be more fun. So sad.


Posted by: Anonymous at April 15, 2008 3:19 PM"

Carla had a baby at 40. Does that mean she's going to die of cancer at 50?

P.S. Hopefully not.

Posted by: Jess at April 16, 2008 7:58 AM


Did anyone ever notice that there are about 30 different choices of contraceptives for women to change her hormone balance and one that a man can use (condom) that does not have long term effects. Hmmm... interesting.

Posted by: tori at April 16, 2008 9:58 AM


Use of exogenous estrogens, sometimes in the form of hormone replacement treatment (HRT) may increase breast cancer risk, but use of oral contraceptives most likely does not increase risk.

http://www.oncolink.org/types/article.cfm?c=3&s=5&ss=33&id=8320

Posted by: TexasRed at April 16, 2008 10:29 AM


Can I get a amen?!

Posted by: Leah at April 16, 2008 11:16 AM


"most likely"

Posted by: Bethany at April 16, 2008 6:36 PM


(it's another word for "we don't know")

Posted by: Bethany at April 16, 2008 6:38 PM


I couldn't help but notice that "abortion" wasn't listed as a risk.

Gee, I wonder why?

Posted by: Leah at April 16, 2008 7:15 PM


HI Jess,
Yes, I could die at 50. Or today. We are all going to die. That's a fact, Jack. I mean Jess.

Posted by: Carla at April 17, 2008 6:49 AM