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Friday, March 27, 2009

Depo Provera...Fight for Approval

Even though one of the first application for the FDA to approve Depo Provera was in 1973, the contraceptive drug was not approved until years later. During that span, numerous tests and research were performed on both animals and humans by the company responsible for it, Pfizer.
Some of these studies consisted of experiments on dogs (which proved to cause breast cancer tumors) and monkeys (where the results were endometrial cancer in 1 out of 6). However, these tests were later reported to be inconclusive since they were tested on animals and not humans.
personal note: if tests would have been fine, would they have used the results then?
According to Upjohn and NCI, who performed their own research, cervical cancer in women was increased 9 times more than those not given Depo Provera. Upjohn's study extended over an 11 year span and was deemed questionable due to "sloppy record keeping".
Their testing was localized to the Atlanta Georgia area and was centered on mostly illiterate, poverty stricken, or mentally challenged women. In the study, it was proven that some of the women died due to cancer and some died from suicide brought on by depression (one of the side effects of Depo Provera). Unfortunately, the experiment which consisted of 13,000 women, was never considered as concrete and was disregarded. Depo Provera was finally approved by the FDA on October 29, 1992 despite all the controversy surrounding it.

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