France at odds with European medicines agency over Pill

January 11, 2013

France insisted Friday on restricting the prescription of newer-generation birth control pills even as Europe's medicines watchdog declared there was no evidence to merit a health warning.

Citing concerns over risks of from the so-called 3rd- and 4th-generation pills, France said it would limit prescriptions of these contraceptives and urged the European Union (EU) to follow suit.

French Marisol Touraine urged the EU to consider a restriction on prescribing the contraceptives and announced a French "directive" to achieve the same.

"We will ask Europe not to suspend but to modify" the prescription guidelines for the pills, said Dominique Maraninchi of the French medicines watchdog, who spoke alongside Touraine at a press conference.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) earlier said there was no basis for changing guidelines.

"There is currently no new evidence that would suggest any change to the known safety profile of any combined contraceptives marketed today," the agency said in a statement from London.

"Therefore, there is no reason for any woman to stop using her contraception."

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