A Dutch radio journalist has found evidence that the drug company Wyeth had discovered that the so called third generation oral contraceptives can increase the risk of thromboembolism.
The link between venous thromboembolism and the third generation Pill is, of course, nothing new. What is important about this finding is that the drug company, after having commissioned the study, decided not to publish it, possibly because of the unfavourable results. Industry sponsored studies have never found an increased risk of venous thromboembolism among third generation Pill users whereas independent researchers have nearly always found a twofold increase. Wyeth claims they did not keep the results of the study a secret and even passed it on to the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA). The Dutch report maintains that Wyeth only did so after pressure was brought tobear by the German and UK health authorities (Lancet, 2001; 357: 779).