#6 Reasons why the pill shouldn’t be made over-the-counter

over-the-counter pill

Still unconvinced by our previous post? We have compiled a list of reasons why oral contraceptive pills should be regulated and not made available over-the-counter.

  1. With so many oral contraceptive pills on the market and a lot of medical jargon, choosing the right pill to suit you can be confusing. Doctors are qualified to prescribe medication so why wouldn’t you go to them for the right recommendations?
  2. No compulsory check-ups? Then to hell with screening for cervical/breast cancer, STI’s or getting a pap test! According to the National Cancer Institute itself, “A number of studies suggest that current use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) appears to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women.
  3. Because not everyone can check their own blood pressure and prevent blood clots. Despite being rare, the sudden health of a young health woman because of a blood clot can be devastating. Sadly this can happen even with the current requirement for a doctor’s prescription.
  4. How much do you really know about IUDs and implants? The uptake of the very effective, long-acting and reversible contraceptives methods as IUDs are low in Australia. This may be an indicator that doctors are not able to spend time with women discussing all the contraceptive options available.
  5. Already priced between $15-$283 (3 month pack) do you want to pay more than what you’re already paying for the pill? Plan B (the morning after pill) became more expensive when it went over-the-counter. If that happened to the pill, it could be unaffordable for many women.
  6. Who’s going to checkout that migraine, change in vision, hearing or motion and caution you to get off the pill?

And those are just 6 reasons why the oral contraceptive pill should only be made available with a prescription and mandatory regular health check ups.

Got more reasons? Or still unconvinced? Let us know in the comment section or sound off on our Twitter or Facebook page.

Who’s profiting from the pill? Bayer the Big Bad wolf

profitting

Our previous post mentioned a host of oral contraceptive pills from Yaz to Zoely to Micogynon. In spite of their deceptively different names what these pills have in common is that they are ALL manufactured by a small handful of pharmaceutical companies including – Bayer, Teva and Watson. The most controversial of the pharma moguls is Bayer.

Bayer produces – Diane-35, Yasmine, Yaz, Beyaz, Safyral, Juliet-35, Yaz Flex, Levlen ED, Levlite, Tri-Levlen, Logynon, Microgynon-20-30-50, Microlevlen, Microlut, Mirena, Petibelle, Qlaira, Valette and Triquilar.

Bayer’s notoriety stems from the drug company’s bad track record of putting profits before consumer safety. Bayer first came to public attention in the 1980’s in the US when the company knowingly sold HIV and Hepatitis C infected blood and blood products to American consumers. 10,000 people were infected and some had died from the infection, causing Bayer to recall the products. Bayer then sold the recalled infected products to Asian and Latin American countries.

Here is a link to a news segment that aired in the 80’s about Bayer’s HIV and Hep C scandal 

And the most shocking part is that not one person from Bayer was indicted or investigated. Bayer basically infected trusting people with HIV. Those infected were compensated with $150 000, but can you really put such a price on someone’s health?

Today Bayer remains under public scrutiny for their oral contraceptive pills – Yaz and Yasmin. In 2008 and 2009 Yaz was the bestselling pill 7 years on and there have been multiple class action law suits from across the world, including Australia where Tindall Gask Bentley Law firm has engaged with over 465 women as of 2013. (To enquire about your own entitlements regarding Yaz or Yasmin click here)

Women pressing to sue Bayer over Yaz and Yasmin allege that the drugs were marketed in a way that exaggerated benefits such as acne and PMS reduction, undermining the serious risks associated with its use. As of 2006 since its release, 1000s of injuries and approximately 100 deaths are linked to Yaz and Yasmin through their adverse side effects (stroke, heart attack, blot clot, pulmonary embolism and gallbladder disease).

These deaths sadly include Brisbane student Tanya Hayes who was 24-years-old when she was taking Yasmin to control her acne. Tanya had suffered blood clotting in her lungs in 2008. Lakota Connell of Melbourne too died from a large blood clot. The 17-year-old had been 3 months in taking Yaz.

An study in the UK has also found that patients on Yaz and Yasmin pills are almost twice as likely to develop blood clots. However, in spite of these findings and the deaths and countless injuries Yaz and Yasmin pills remain on the market. So ladies, it’s up to you to inform educate yourself and make informed decisions about your wellbeing.

This post is dedicated in loving memory of Tanya and Lakota.

Blood clot sufferer Lakota and her twin sister Jo-Dene share their final embrace

Blood clot sufferer Lakota and her twin sister Jo-Dene share their final embrace