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Birth control pills: a new health scandal?
France's health authorities have decided that a higher risk of blood clots, strokes and thrombosis in the latest versions of birth control pills pose an unacceptable danger to women’s health. As a result, the government has changed its prescription guidelines for oral contraceptives. The decision could affect 2.5 million women in France and many more overseas, should other countries follow suit.
Every week, more victims come forward with stories of life-threatening side effects as a result of their birth control pills. We meet the lawyer who has brought the affair before the French courts. He warns of an avalanche of new lawsuits related to third- and fourth-generation pills, most of which are manufactured by German pharmaceutical company Bayer.
Next, we head to Germany, where the firm’s shareholders are concerned the new health scare could have a damaging impact on the brand.
Finally, what if a male pill were available? Would men be ready and willing to share the risks? The most promising research is taking place in the US and India, although a viable alternative is still at least five to ten years away.