FDA Cries Foul on Pill Ad
REUTERS, July 15 — U.S. regulators have warned a major pharmaceutical company that its television advertisement for birth-control pills is misleading.
Regulators said the ad for the drug, called Yasmin, overstated the product's safety and effectiveness and minimized the health risks, according to a letter released by the Food and Drug Administration.
Reuters news service reported that the FDA told Berlex Laboratories, a unit of German drug maker Schering, to immediately discontinue the ad.
The FDA's letter was sent July 10 and posted on the agency's Web site.
Berlex ran the commercial in May and June for test-marketing purposes and stopped airing it before receiving the FDA's notice, Berlex spokeswoman Kim Schillace said. Last year's U.S. sales of Yasmin totaled $95 million.
No Pill for Scottish Schoolgirls
Chisholm told the newspaper: “We have to take account of people's views. The morning-after pill in schools is not on the agenda at all. I think people can be reassured. There is obviously a lot of concern about that among parents and I think we have to look at different ways of dealing with those issues.”
Japan Seeks Fertility
KAISERNETWORK.ORG, July 24 — The Japanese parliament's upper house has passed a measure that officials hope will help raise the country's record-low fertility rate.
According to a report released last month by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan's total fertility rate fell more than expected in 2002 to a record 1.32 children per woman —the country's lowest level since the end of World War II.
The bill would create a panel, to be headed by the prime minister, that would look for ways to increase the nation's total fertility rate.
The bill paves the way for the health ministry to spend $2.1 billion next year on plans to increase the total fertility rate, such as paying couples who receive fertility treatments.
Victory in Northern Ireland
Justice Brian Kerr rejected an attempt by the Family Planning Association to force health chiefs into setting out the circumstances in which abortions were legal.
Undercurrent laws, women can only have a termination in the North if their life is at risk or if there is a serious threat to their mental or physical health by continuing the pregnancy.