Eighteen Dutch women may have died using Diane-35 pills

Some 18 Dutch women may have died in connection with the anti-acne drug and contraceptive Diane-35, experts in drug side-effects said on Friday.

The Lareb laboratory, which specialises in studying the side-effects of drugs, says it received 621 complaints about Diane-35, of which 388 were made following an outcry in the media earlier this year.


Many of the complaints date back several years, a fact which the organisation says is worrying. Healthcare officials are supposed to report serious side-effects as they happen.


Of the complainants, 122 said they had been prescribed the drug as a contraceptive, even though it was not approved for this use.


Some 160,000 women are thought to use Diane-35 in the Netherlands. It is mainly prescribed to treat acne and excessive facial hair.