Drug Firm Says Oral Contraceptive's Thrombotic Risk Well Known

LONDON (Reuters) Mar 04 – A leading drug company said on Monday that the use of its third-generation oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) carried a higher thrombotic risk than the use of other agents, but the risk was well known and was included in the packaging information.
As it prepared to defend a group action suit in Britain's High Court over alleged side effects of the pill, American Home Products subsidiary Wyeth said the elevated risks were small and the benefits outweighed these risks for most women.

"There is known to be an increased risk," a spokesperson said. However, "it is…very low," she added.

More than 100 women are suing Wyeth, Organon Laboratories, part of Dutch chemicals group Akzo Nobel and Germany's Schering claiming the firms failed to protect them from harmful side effects of the latest OCPs.

It is believed to be the first major class action of its kind against major drug companies. The case centers on the third-generation OCPs Femodene, Minulet, Marvelon and Mercilon, introduced in the 1980s….

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