Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Dan Hockensmith, Communications Officer (Global Trade Watch)
w. (202) 454-5108
dhockensmith@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

 Dec. 9, 2011

Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch Needlessly Exposes Patients to Excessive Levels of Hormones, Should Be Removed From Market

Birth Control Patch Delivers More Than Twice the Amount of Hormones as Oral Contraceptives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ortho Evra birth control patch exposes women to dangerously high levels of estrogen and increased risk of blood clots and should be removed from the market, phased in over six months to allow women to switch to an alternative form of contraception, Public Citizen told two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees today.

In fact, the Ortha Evra patch delivered estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) at levels approximately 60 percent higher than oral contraceptives, Public Citizen said in testimony to the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management and Reproductive Health Drugs advisory committees.

There are more than 60 birth control pills on the market, all with a maximum of only 35 micrograms (mcg) of ethinyl estradiol or less. Comparatively, the Ortha Evra patch contains an equivalent exposure of estrogen that women would get with a 60-mcg pill.

“A pill delivering such an exposure would never be approved,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “If the Ortha Evra patch has no unique benefits and, relative to equally effective oral contraceptives with lower estrogen doses, has a higher risk of blood clots, there is no reason to leave it on the market. Although prescriptions have dropped markedly in the past seven years, more than a million prescriptions a year are still filled for the patch. Women using these prescriptions are at increased risk with no significant, documented benefit.”

###
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.