27 Dutch women may have died from Diane-35 contraceptive pill

Up to 27 Dutch women may have died from the side effects of contraceptive pill Diane-35, which is far more than thought earlier, according to television current affairs show Zembla.


The programme, to be screened on Thursday night, claims most of the women died of a pulmonary lung embolism. Most were also under the age of 30.

Diane-35 has been available in the Netherlands since 1987. Some 160,000 women are thought to use Diane-35, which is mainly prescribed to treat acne and excessive facial hair but is also used widely as a contraceptive.


When problems first surfaced with the drug in France earlier this year, hundreds of reports of problems in the Netherlands were made to the Lareb laboratory, which specialises in studying the side-effects of drugs.

Earlier this year, Lareb said there is evidence 18 women died because of the drug. The total, according to Zembla, has now gone up as more reports have been investigated.

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.

The programme will be broadcast on Thursday night at 21.00 on Nederland 2.

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