1 Million Birth Control Pills Recalled: How Safe is Your Plan?

by on December 9th, 2010
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COMMENTARY | Recently, Pfizer announced it accidentally released several lots of incorrectly dosed birth control pills as a result of an equipment failure. This mistake means about one million faulty pill packs have been distributed. The affected pill packs were of the generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablet type and had expiration dates ranging between July 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014, reported the Associated Press. The packs contain inaccurate numbers of active and inactive pills which will result in ineffective birth control.

This isn’t the first birth control pill slip-up in the last year even either, in September of 2011, Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, had a similar slip-up with packaging where they disordered the pills in the pack which could cause women to take the pills in the wrong order making them far less effective, reported CNN news. That recall was for 1.4 million packs. Between the two incidents, that means in the last year alone 2.4 million pill packs have been defective and on the market — that we know about.

While both these incidents are a seriously epic fail for the quality control checkers over at Pfizer and Qualitest, this is a great time for women worldwide to review their birth control plan and recognize that even the birth control pill can fail, accurately dosed or not. If your aim is to guarantee you won’t become pregnant, abstinence really is the only safe birth control. Realistically, however, it’s wise to use multiple birth control methods. For example, using condoms which also prevent disease, birth control, tracking your own fertility and keeping Plan-B emergency contraceptive pills on hand for broken condom situations, missed pills, or well, one million faulty pill packs is fairly safe plan for not becoming pregnant.

While as a woman I feel for those that thought they were playing it safe, and may now be faced with an unexpected surprise, this event really shines light on the importance of knowing your body, paying attention to it, your pills, and sexual and reproductive education for not only teens, but adults. How much do your kids know?


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