Pfizer said Wednesday that a newer version of its once-popular birth control drug, Ortho Evra, has cut the likelihood of vaginal ulcers in women who use it by 60 percent.
According to the drugmaker, it is the first new form of the drug used for preventive purposes in 25 years, which has previously used to be taken for regular maintenance of sexual activity.
The label of the new version, called Oleodex Platinum and launched in 2016, states that the pill’s impact “offers women at-risk of vaginal ulcers a higher degree of protection against increased incidence of bacterial vaginosis over the course of the contraceptive method, compared to a new oral contraceptive that has not yet been registered.”
In a statement, Kathleen Drennen, a divisional manager with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “I would note that the data reported in the label is limited to one year of clinical studies.”
The CDC estimates that up to 50 percent of women of childbearing age are at risk for bacterial vaginosis.
Pfizer said that the roughly 40 women enrolled in the three-year study who were enrolled in the “new contraceptive option” (Oleodex Platinum) had about a 60 percent reduction in the rate of black-to-white genital ulcers. The women were randomly assigned to use either the pill or a placebo pill. Women who used the pill reported similar reduction in the rate of bacterial vaginosis to those who used the placebo. In the trial, 98 percent of women taking the pill reported no adverse events with the pill.
Olympusat, a Spanish-language broadcast television company, said in an emailed statement that, “with this treatment [Oleodex Platinum], women will have a sense of protection and assurance so as to not have to worry about their bodies and sexual health.”
As reported by the Huffington Post, Drennen noted in her statement that “the data presented on the label is limited to one year of clinical studies.”