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The Nelson Pill Hearings

2021-05-05 | 🔗

In the U.S., the idea that people should know about the risks involved with the drugs that they are taking is tied directly to the complicated and often troubling history of oral contraceptives. 

Tracy's Research:

  • Gutierrez, Kirsten. “Health experts: Blood clots from J&J vaccine and birth control are very different.” WRAL. 4/13/2021. https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/health-experts-blood-clots-from-j-j-vaccine-and-birth-control-are-very-different/19625592/
  • American Experience. “Senate Hearings on the Pill.” https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/pill-senate-holds-hearings-pill-1970/
  • Thomas, Robert Mcg. Jr. “Hugh J. Davis, 69, Gynecologist Who Invented Dalkon Shield.” New York Times. 10/26/1996. https://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/26/us/hugh-j-davis-69-gynecologist-who-invented-dalkon-shield.html
  • Time. “Medicine: The Pill on Trial.” 1/26/1970. http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,878746-1,00.html
  • Gura, Trisha. “Opening Eyes.” Oberlin Alumni Magazine. Spring 2004. https://www2.oberlin.edu/alummag/spring2004/feat_eyes.html
  • Jewish Women's Archive. "Barbara Seaman." (Viewed on April 14, 2021) <https://jwa.org/feminism/seaman-barbara>.
  • Knowles, Jon. “The Birth Control Pill – A History.” Planned Parenthood. 2013. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/1213/9611/6329/pillhistory.pdf
  • Watkins, Elizabeth Siegel. “On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950-1970.” Johns Hopkins University Press. 1998.
  • Fitzpatrick, Jane Brodsky. "Seaman, Barbara." The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, edited by Arnold Markoe, et al., vol. 8: 2006-2008, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2010, pp. 440-441. Gale In Context: Biography, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX1347100261/GPS?u=mlin_n_melpub&sid=GPS&xid=3f70d978. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.
  • Watkins, Elizabeth Siegel. “Expanding Consumer Information: The Origin of the Patient Package Insert.” Advancing the Consumer Interest Volume 10 Number 1 / Spring 1998. Via JSTOR. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23862430
  • Junod, Suzanne White and Lara Marks. “Women’s Trials: The Approval of the First Oral Contraceptive Pill n the United States and Great Britain.” Journal of the History of Medicine. Vol. 57, April 2002. Oxford University Press.
  • O’Donnell, Kelly. “Our Doctors, Ourselves: Barbara Seaman and Popular Health.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Vol. 93, No. 4, Winter 2019. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/744905
  • Sigal, Regina. “politics of the pill.” Off Our Backs. 2/27/1970. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25770946
  • Blair, Sandra. “Liability of Birth Control Pill Manufacturers.” Hastings Law Journal. Vol. 23, Issue 5. 1/1972. https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_law_journal 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
My friend kept complaining about car insurance. I need affordable insurance to get back on the road I gotta get to work, so I played this and she was like Clayton. I can't say final believes. Everyone deserves affordable coverage in just three minutes. You can save big with low down payment on state minimum coverage. This nightgown call one eight hundred say fought over your quote today. My name is Jill. A poor. I'm in Eric and historian, but over the last few years I've been troubled by some pretty big questions about the present. Why is it so hard for us to agree on what true? Why does it feel so impossible to know anything anymore? So I started a pod cast the last archive to find answers to trace
history. This last archive honey. I heart radio apple pie, guest wherever you get your broadcasts welcome to stuff you, Minister, History, glass, a production of Iheart Radio, hello and welcome to the cod cast, I'm Tracy Wilson and I'm holly frying. So hopefully, what we're about to talk about? Will it be, if not cleared up at least likes somewhat better understood by the time this episode comes out or in one of those declarations where I'm about to talk about a thing that may just be different by the time the episode is, is audible to other people. When I research today is tat
big, though, we were hearing a lot about extremely rare clotting disorders that are potentially linked to the Astor Seneca and Johnson and Johnson Covert vaccines an headlines about those again extremely rare clotting disorders have lent the latter comparisons between the vaccines and oral contraceptives. With the cat home kind of being, like there's, a bigger risk for blood clots or birth control, and nobody cares about bat or like and women, just deal with it. It's it's kind of dismissive tone in all of these contacts, but that argument is a little bit apples to oranges and it also skips over a whole lot, a big thing and we're not gonna get in the weeds cause, we're not doctors. This is not medical.
history podcast, but the class that are associated with oral contraceptives are generally really different from the ones that might be connected to the vaccines and all of these clots can be life threatening, but they form very differently in different parts of the circulatory system. Also, they typically require very different treatments because the vaccines- it's not just the clot, it's also a low lately count for you. Can't give a person anti coagulated, like you, would, with a lot of other class. but another big big difference here is information, because the connection between oral contraceptives and blood clots has been established for decades. At this point and in the United States, the FDA requires that every package of birth control pills comes with patient literature. That explains this risk and all the other risks Ideally, there would also be a thoughtful conversation with a health care provider about the risks and the benefits
a lot of reasons that might not happen, though, and I totally recognise that, but like these vaccines are brand new and the potential risk, is it fully understood yet, and you just can't inform people of what their risk is or try to emit to mitigate that risk? If you dont really have a handle on what's going on yet so that's why, as a former recording, this there's been a pause to try to get a bit better handle on it. At the same time, though, in the United States, this whole idea that people should know about the risks that are involved with the drugs that they're taking that's tied directly to the complicated and honestly preach doubling, sometimes history of oral contraceptives, so that is what we are going to talk about today and just a level set. The social and political impact of oral contraceptives
play it's a whole. Other thing: we're not really going to talk about that at all in this episode, because this episode is really about safety, so the first oral contraceptive was called and Novid and it was brought to market in the United States in nineteen. Fifty seven, at first. It was only approved for treating menstrual disorders, but researchers knew that it prevented population, thus that it prevented pregnancy Mary infertility was a known side effect I believe that many of the roughly five hundred thousand people who took a new between one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven and one thousand nine hundred and sixty were taking it for that so called side of either. In addition to, or instead of something like irregular minstrel cycles are into so getting enervate approved as a contraceptive that required additional clinical trials that were specifically for that purpose.
and both trials would not at all meet today's standards for things like ethics and informed consent, and really this was also true of the drugs earlier trials. Some of those had been carried out on patients in a mental hospital. The team that was developing the pill included gynecologist John Rock and reproductive physiologist Gregory, Pink, and they were in Massachusetts and in Massachusetts it was illegal to distribute contraceptives or information about them. The same was true of a lot of other states. You couldn't have a controlled trial of a contraceptive in a place where that was illegal, so the trial. had to be carried out somewhere else and the location that rock and Pinkus chose for some of this work was porter ego, rockin, pinkus We had connections there through the University of Porter Ego School of medicine and contraception was
legal there and there was already and establish a network of birth control clinics in the territory. However, the reasons for all of that were tied to the eugenics Movement Anzio, an effort led by U S, officials to curb poverty importer. We go by lowering the birth rate. There was a huge project The campaign that promoted the idea that smaller families would mean more money and a better quality of life, and then, on top of that official sent medical practitioners to Porto Ego to carry out a mass sterilization campaign. This was one that was often coercive. Deceptive, with women, being sterilised without their knowledge or without being told that this procedure they were about to undergo, was permanent Mother rationale for selecting forgery go for these trials was racist and paternalistic stereotyping Porter regions ignorant and an educated, so basically, if they could successfully used the pill than anyone could
and then added to all of that. The idea of informed consent wasn't really established in the world of medicine. At this point, the people who are participating in these trials were informed that the drug they were taking was experimental or not. They were taking part in a clinical trial The trials conducted in Porto Ego and elsewhere confirmed the end of it was an effective contraceptive. No one who took the drug as directed got pregnant However, a lot of people reported side effects. In Puerto Rico, seventeen percent of the trial participants reported things like heading. dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Twenty five of two hundred twenty one participants ultimately withdrew from the study because these issues. Three women died, but no post mortem exams were conducted so was clear, whether their deaths were caused by the pill or not. Medical personnel who
monitoring. These trials were really focused on the possibility of several specific possible issues: cancer damage to the reproductive system and liver damage, so they didn't really connect. All of these other reported side effects to the A lot of a doctor's just wrote them off as unrelated or as psychosomatic. At the same time, though, doktor address rice re, who was in charge of the trial, wrote that the pill quote causes too many side reactions to be acceptable. Generally, she wrote that when she made her first report later on, though she would say quote, we could not have been more raw the porter Ego trials are the most widely known at this point, but trials were also conduct. In Haiti aimed in several cities around the. U S where it was legal to do so in the
and when drug manufacturer, JD, sorrow and company applied for FDA approval for and Ovid as a contraceptive, it included data on eight hundred ninety seven patients who had taken ten Milligrams doses of the and nine hundred ninety five, who had taken a five Milligrams Dose news reports, later gloved onto the number of a hundred and thirty two number had come up in some Senate. Rings. That was the number of patients who had taken the drug continuously a year or more, but really the documentation that Thurle submitted as part of this approval process was at the time the largest package the FDA had ever received. There were twenty volumes of data from trials that had been conducted, importer, Rico, Haiti LOS Angeles and Massachusetts that was earlier research into safety. It was not the contraceptive ethics see as part of the trial. The FDA also polled said,
The five Obi July ends about their opinions on the pill safety. At the same time, the FDA recognised that the pill had not existed long enough to be certain of long term effects it might cause so when it approved in over its use as a contraceptive, the FDA required that patients be prescribed the pill for no more than two years, the FDA approved in of it as a contraceptive on June. Twenty third nineteen sixty and its part clarity spread Lily rapidly, we'll talk about that more after a sponsor break, you can do a lot into minute, like Papa Bagger, popcorn walk about, Five hundred and forty six feet you can drink so how much water take them unsatisfying shower or toast perfectly toasted toast, and now MAX. You can get an online offer on your car in two minutes to know really in official for good for seven days, so you can decide
the new trade. It sell it more shopping around comics. The way it should be. No child comes into the world, believing that one group is superior to another, but other how we allocate societal resources. The cultural narratives that we hold the kind of world that we create for kids of color is often very different for white. Publicly here in the United States, that's Doktor Brian Smedley, CO, founder and exit, The director of the national collaborative for health equity, Doktor Smedley overseas, Several initiatives designed to improve opportunities for good health and undo the health consequences of racism and these children. see that its reflected in the attic these that we see across a range of different outcomes and it's my firm belief that we are making progress towards thing. People in this society understand the fallacy of race, but the reality of racism
Fortunately, how destructive racism is for all of us, I'm just in back founder. and ceo of contact world listen to contact world. The podcast I hurt radio up or wherever you get your podcast as we have established the clinical trials on and no it would not have met today's standards, but even if they had their almost certainly would have been some side effects that were only discovered after the drug had been approved. Today, drugs are approved after several phases of trials. That typically include thou of participants, but once drugs are on the market, they may be taken by millions of people. So extremely rare side effects or side effects that only show up among groups that we're screamed out of the clinical trials. For some reason, like those can show up, afterward
in terms of oral contraceptives after ennobles approval other drug maker, soon submitted their own new drug applications within five years. Seven different drug companies had an approved oral contraceptive in the U S, all of which contained estrogen and pray just in the pill, became the most widely used contraceptive in the U S and it made its way to other countries as well. A lot went into this rapid and widespread, although definitely not universal acceptance of the pale drug manufacturers advertise directly to doctors, both through in person visits from sales wraps and through advertisements and medical literature. Doctors liked that the pill was easier to prescribe and to use than something like a diaphragm factors also saw a financial benefit sense.
patients were supposed to have an office visit every six months to get their prescriptions. Renewed people also got around that whole requirement that they were only supposed to be on the pill for a maximum of two years by either. Switching doctors are switching brands. There were advertisements, aimed at consumers as well, and newspapers and magazines covered the pills debut with a lot of generally positive fanfare. course, a lot of people were just really eager for a convenient, effective, discreet way to prevent pregnancy for all kinds of reasons, plans. Parenthood had been operating birth control, clinics and advocating for birth control to be legalised for decades. At this point, they worked out a deal with Searle to purchase pills directly from the company rather than having to go through distributors. They did this to cut costs and to make the pill more affordable for people with lower incomes by the end of nineteen sixty one. Almost ninety percent of planned parenthood clinics were offering the pill, but it didn't take
long before people started reporting a lot of side effects like new or worsening Migraines nausea, depression, water retention, weight, gain spotting and breakthrough bleeding. Breast tenderness, reduced sex drive and reduced fertility. After stopping the pill, and my one thousand nine hundred and sixty one doctors were also starting to report serious and even life threatening potential issues, including blood clots, heart attacks and strokes that were brought on by both clots and by high blood pressure. A report on fatal clots and Britain was published in the lancet in nineteen sixty one. but it wasn't completely clear whether those clots had actually been caused by the pill, as other reports of clotting issues and other serious side effects started to come. In JD, Sir,
company arranged a one day conference in nineteen sixty two to review all the evidence. At that point, an estimated one million people were taking an ovid and there had been twenty eight documented cases of blood clots, six of which had been fatal. The assembled group at this conference unanimously approved a resolution that called for more research to this issue, but the vast majority also felt that the available data didn't indicate a causal relationship between the pill and the clouds and the FDA mean that the rate of serious adverse reactions translated to about one point three out of a hundred thousand users, and that was a lot, lower than the rate of deaths from pregnancy related complications at the time that was almost thirty seven out of a hundred thousand. However, after this conference and its results, were
Hubble sized. There were a hundred and thirty two more cases of blood clotting issues that were reported in just about a month. These are probably not clots the papuans just then, but people having realised there might be a connection. So after it was reported, they ve started realising that there might be, as this was happening news, broke that the sedative lit a mind which had been prescribed as a treatment for morning. Sickness had caused a range of illnesses and disabilities and babies. Were exposed to it in utero. We covered this medical disaster in August of twenty nineteen, The news about the little mind temporarily overshadowed the growing safety concerns about the pill, but it also
much tighter restrictions on drug testing and safety. Afterward missiles also happening at the same time as a generally increased scrutiny into chemicals and environmental pollutants and other issues and what effect they might have on the human body, for example, Rachel Carson Silent Spring, which included a chapter on things like pesticide poisonings and a connection between pesticides and cancer that came out in nineteen six to the book as when we ve had a lot of requests to cover its tricky one, because it covers a lot of different territory, yeah yeah, either the potential health connections is just one chapter of a longer, but through the early timid sixties, there was more research into whether the pill was causing blood clots and other serious health problems. But a lot of it was really contradictory. The FDA
an ad hoc committee to investigate the pill in nineteen sixty three, which ultimately found no increased risks for issues like blood clots. In other studies, findings disagreed with one another and published research often concluded mostly. The more research was needed there, were also a lot of questions about whether the pill could increase the risk of cancer, but because cancers can take a long time to develop, it wasn't possible. They even really stand that. Yet, in November of nineteen sixty five, a report came out that advised further study into whether the pill causing Neuro, optimal logic issues, the FDA, advise drug manufacturers to add. I problems to the list of countries indications that was provided to doctors and pharmacists when they were prescribing in bending the pill, the FDA Advisory Committee on obstetrics in gynecology, formed for task forces to do more research into the pill. one on Thrombosis Balikh Disease, one on car
energetic potential one on The and metabolic effects and one on efficacy. But the report it is in nineteen sixty six are once again mostly called for where research describing a lot of results, as quote inconclusive, acknowledging that it was simply too soon to know whether contraceptives taken now would have an impact on someone's body thirty years down the road.
There were also lots of unanswered questions about whether demographic groups that were more likely to be on the pill were predisposed to various potential side effects are not compounding. All of this was the fact that the medical community as a whole was debating exactly how to weigh the pills, risks and benefits all drugs have side effects, but before the pill was introduced, virtually all the prescription drugs on the market were meant to treat a specific illness or condition. Questions of whether a drug was safe enough were also connected to how serious that condition was and what it would take to treat it. Although birth control with sometimes being prescribed to treat things like painful or irregular periods, in a lot of cases, the patient was young and healthy and just wanted to prevent pregnancy.
So I just left this big question: what was an appropriate level of risk for a young, healthy person who wanted to prevent pregnancy, four years or even Beck AIDS? Meanwhile, the news media was generally interpreting no conclusive evidence to mean that there is not a problem So even though doctors and researchers had been reporting at least the possibility of serious issues for six years, reporting on the pill in the mainstream press continue to be pretty positive. An April of nineteen sixty seven. The tone of all this started to shift more report started to suggest a definitive link between the pill and blood clots and may have nineteen sixty seven. The british Medical Journal printed the results of a study that found that fifty out of a hundred thousand oral contraceptive users would be hospitalized birth, Rambo Embolism every year.
That was ten times higher than the rate of hospitalizations. Among people who were not on the pill, this report showed a similar, dramatic disparity in death rates for people between the ages of twenty and thirty. Four one point: five per one hundred thousand pill users would die of complications from a throne. Well among non users. That number was only zero point. Two and four pill use between the ages of thirty five and forty four. The death rate was three point: nine per one hundred thousand years yours, but it was only zero point. Five per one hundred thousand non users, so this seemed pretty clear, but this report only lead some more debate with doctors and pharmaceutical companies arguing about whether the study was accurate or whether it had been correctly desire
and but news reporting on the pill started to become a lot more critical. There's a lot more first person, testimony from people who had been harms like patients who had experienced blood clots or family members, huge loved one, had died, There was also just a lot more reporting on the more vague and inconvenient problems that were associated with the pill like breast tenderness, spotting and nausea by one thousand. Nine hundred and sixty nine The medical community was increasingly recognising a clear connection between the pill and blood clots. It was also clear that the pill was causing some kind of metabolic effects, although it really wasn't yet clear what those were, and they still really didn't know whether the pill increase the risk of various cancers, but then in visual doctors were all over the place and how much they knew about this and how it affected their work with their patience communication about these issues within the matter,
What community was just not very robust, alot of a study is that suggested, the strongest connection between the pill and a specific problem. A lot of those were printed in specialist journals, so, for example, papers about blood clots in the eye were being printed in journals of up the mileage e general practitioners and Guyana colleges. Sea were likely to be prescribing the pill to their pace, weren't necessarily reading these particular journals. Gps often found about really concerned. Steady youth only after they were picked up and reported on by mainstream news outlets and as a trend doctors, often weren't, talking to their patients about risks at all. If you wanted oral contraceptives, he went
doctor and asked for them in a lot of the time you just gotta prescription, with no discussion about the pills, potential side effects or whether you have any kind of illness or condition that might make you more prone to those side effects. All of this came to a head in nineteen sixty nine, which we will get to you after a spot, a break as any business leader will tell you these days. Things aren't what they used to be Never be the same again as a result. The way businesses. Work has evolved at unprecedented speed and when it comes helping them grow the staff quote no longer cuts it. That's why T mobile for business, is unconventional thinking to help business. Is realised, new possibilities, T Mobile, offers the nations largest and fastest five g network which helps businesses innovation, so they can smarter and grow faster t, mobile forbid, it has also completely re? Imagine the customer experience provided
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with appear lottery scratch off in a year. One more thing keep on scratch and must be eighteen or older. Please play responsibly benefits older pennsylvanians. Every day, in nineteen. Sixty nine journalist, Barbara Seamen, published the doctors case against the pill. It documented numerous accounts of serious problems that were associated with the Well, although some of these connections were anecdotal and were later disprove in a lot of the book, documented side effects that were well known but which patients were not be, informed of before taking the pill. Freeman was broken, ITALY, driven by the idea that patients had a right to be informed of the risks that were involved in any drug or other medical treatment that they took. Her aunt had actually died of a uterine cancer that was connected to high estrogen levels in a hormone replaced.
Therapy that she was taking and then her son had also nearly died as a baby, because she had been prescribed a laxative that was passed to him through her breast milk on September 23rd, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine seaman Road to U Dot s senator a Lord Nelson of Wisconsin. Her letter, read in part quote: I wish you would seek out ten randomly selected women who have been on the pill for any length of time, And asked them whether they have had any other medications to control pill side effects. You may be a maid as I was to find that a high proportion, six or seven out of ten have had to take other powerful medications to counteract pill, side effects. These lewd diuretics to control, bloating painkillers for headaches, etc. anti nausea preparations, tranquilizers for nerves, pep pills. Lethargy and perhaps most Farming, Lee anti some doctors appear to be
ending these out for any suspicious swelling in a pill user, not just for established clots. She also wrote Never before in history have so many millions of people taken such a powerful and unnecessary drug Nelson Red Siemens book. He was on the Senate, committee on monopoly, which was under the select committee on small business and he conducting hearings into the pharmaceutical industry. On December, twenty second nineteen Thirty nine. He announced that the committee would hold hearings into the safety of oral contraceptives. Leave started on January 14th, one thousand nine hundred and seventy, and they lasted into March. On the first day, Nelson gave a statement that said in part quote. The aims of these hearings are two percent for the general public's benefit the best and most objective information of
about these drugs first, whether they are dangerous for the human body and second, whether patients taking them, have sufficient information about the possible dangers in order to make an intelligent judgment, whether they wish to assume the risks. Many of the people who were invited to testify were people who had been featured in Siemens book. most were doctors, biologists, physiologists professors of medicine and other experts of the pills, original co developers, Doktor John Rock still living but was not invited to testify in many People who did speak were deeply critical of the pill enough that Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, criticize the hearings as unbalanced. in general. The criticisms made at these hearings were about purported problems being caused by the pill itself, not about the FDA approval process that has led to its being made available because
but the little my disaster, the process for that in nineteen. Seventy was much different than it had been ten years earlier. So picking apart, the pills, development and testing process did not seem quite as relevant. A key figure and the first person to testify was Doktor, Hugh J Davis, who taught obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins described oral contraceptives as an experiment that was being carried out on millions of healthy women. He argued that the synthetic hormones being used in contraceptives work some regions in various animals, and that he was certain that would also be true of humans. He also described them, is causing metabolic problems and criticise the pharmaceutical industry for trying to protect their own profits. Instead of finding safer options. However, Davis had an enormous conflict of interest here. He was
developing an entry uterine device that would, in his opinion, be a much safer option than oral hormones where we thought this was gonna, be a completely effective method of contraception that had no sign. Facts. So even though he said he didn't have any conflict of interests, it was in his person oh and financial interest. If people stopped trusting the pill and started looking for other forms of birth control, and we should also note that I DE was the darkened shield which hit the market and nineteen seventy one, the Delta Shield was associated with at least eighteen deaths and more than two hundred thousand infections, miscarriages and other serious problems, because its multi filament string could draw bacteria into the uterus H Robin sold two point, eight million of them before it stopped making them in nineteen. Seventy four, although it didn't actually recall them for another decade and covered up what was going on
More than three hundred thousand lawsuits were filed against H, Robins company, which ultimately filed for bankruptcy in nineteen eighty five there they were still telling people who had these inserted that they needed to go to the doktor to have them removed recently enough for me to remember, seeing news reports about when I was a kid same gap in addition to that, like a member of my extended family, actually had a stroke from her birth control pills before I was born. So it's like multiple overlapping aspects of this episode have like a personal connection for me back to the Senate hearings, though only four of the people who testified at these hearings were women. The first woman to testify was Doktor Elizabeth Conall. That was on February twenty fourth, which was well into the hearings themselves. The only woman
to testify that she personally had used the pill was Doktor Mary E Lane, who was clinical director of the contraception service at Margaret Sanger Research Bureau. Of course, the fact, that an all male Senate Committee was holding hearings into birth control without involving many women and without fighting women who are directly affected by the pill to testify made people angry on January. Twenty third protesters interrupted the testimony of Philip Kaufman Director of the centre for population research at the National Institutes of health. They were members of the feminist group DC women's duration, led by Alice Wilson and General Wilson, and the other women agreed with the basics of what Kaufman was saying, which was that oral contraceptives caused all kinds of effects throughout the body and that these effects were poorly understood that women were not being told about them, but they objected to the fact that everyone who had testified at that point was a man and that women
experiences had been covered and Siemens Book seamen herself, none of them were being included. Deasey women's collective also distributed flyers to the hearings, attendees with questions that echoed what they shouted during the proceedings, these fires red. Why are no women testifying? Why are no women the subcommittee, why is the profitable relationship between doctors and drug companies whitewashed by the press and in these hearings? Why is They are a male pill, wire contracts, Jane and Medicine profit, making industries rather than free public services. Why our dread companies deliberately withholding available information on side effects? Why our governments solution to world hunger to control population rather than the redistribution of resources. Why are these here not discussing the issue of abortion on demand? What kind of reverie And will be made by the white male medical establishment to women
have been used as guinea pigs in this mass experiment. Nelson cleared the room after this disrupt in and then only allowed the press back in when the committee reconvened his treatment of these women and his some of them during the hearings and afterward that live, I was pretty dismissive and patronising, including calling them girls and lecturing them about appropriate behaviour. These hearings really didn't uncover any new information about oral contraceptives. Most of the testimony repeated details that had already and published in journals or in Siemens Book, and they didn't really answer the questions of whether the risks of blood, clots and other potential health issues outweighed the pills benefits. But they made
abundantly clear that people were not being informed of these risks. Now up like a lot of us had been documented. But people didn't know until they heard about it. In these hearings, and and this had a dramatic impact on the pill itself and on its acceptance, initially, these hearings were expected to take placed over five days all three major american TV networks covered at least four of those five days and according to a Gallup poll that was released shortly after that about eighty seven percent of wine,
in the? U S, who were between the ages of twenty one and forty five had heard or read about the hearings and two thirds of the women pulled said their doktor had never informed them of the risks that were associated with the pill. After these hearings, the number of people taking the pill dropped sharply with about eighteen percent of people who had been taking them stopping and another, roughly twenty three percent, considering it in the months after the hearings, doctors reported in optic in unexpected pregnancies. In the wake of these hearings, and this growing body of information about the dangers that were associated with the pill, pharmaceutical companies a word: the amount of hormones in their contraceptives, dramatically the first formulation of Enerve contained
thousand micrograms of Predestine and a hundred and fifty micrograms of estrogen. Today, a Lotos contraceptive pill is more like between fifty and two hundred and fifty micrograms of protest in and between twenty and fifty micrograms of estrogen, so that a different formulations bacon very pretty significantly and exactly what dosages of what are in there. But that is a lot less. This decrease also lead to a reduction in the occurrence of blood clots today. The FDA estimates that for every ten thousand people on oral contraceptives between three and nine will develop a blood clots every year. These hearings also led to the inclusion of the patient package insert that is required and birth control, pills and other indications in the U S today. The first proposed draft of this insert was a six hundred word. Peace called what you should know about birth control pills, it went off.
the risk of blood clots and noted that anyone who had a history of clots, serious liver disease, breast cancer, certain other cancers or unexplained virginal bleeding, should not take the path. It also noted that anyone with kidney disease, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, uterine, fibroids and migraines should take it only with special medical supervision. It listed possible route actions and noted that while these hormones had caused cancer in animals, there was no proof that they did in humans. It then read quote because your doktor knows this. He will want to examine you regularly who had at last sentence. That's one of many assumptions that this pamphlet made about the doctor patient relationship. It assumes that the doctor
was mail, and it said things like your doctor has taken your medical history and has given you a careful physical examination. He has discussed with you the risks of rural contraceptives and has decided that you can take this drug safely. Of course, that is something a pre, granted piece of paper had no way of actually knowing the american medic, association, opposed this insert saying it would undermine relationships between doctors and patients. Drug companies were also opposed and the farmer. critical Manufacturers Association submitted a list of objections in June,
nineteen. Seventy the FDA ultimately decided on a much shorter information card that described the risk of blood clots, as quote the most serious known side effect. It was only seven sentences, long about half of which explained that patients could get a copy of the longer peace from their doctor. This made oral contraceptives the first drug. In the? U S to come with a warning meant for consumers get there were warnings before this point, but they were for the doctors and the pharmacists, not for the people actually taking the drug Deasey Women's liberation and other feminist groups protested the war, uttering down of bit statement which to be clear, what kind of a mixed bag in the first place
they started at the Office of Health, education and Welfare Secretary Robert Finch. They met with officials, they petition to reinstate the longer and stronger version of that warning, but that nothing changed at that point between one thousand nine hundred and seventy and one thousand nine hundred and seventy five. There were about ten million prescriptions written for the pill, but only about four million copies of that longer informational statement or distribute a more thorough pill insert with all the information actually on. It became mandatory and birth control pills in nineteen. Seventy, eight one thousand nine hundred and eighty the FDA mandated that this had to be understandable to the average consumer. I don't know if it's one hundred percent understandable to average consumers now, because I know every time I've gotten a package of birth control pills. It's been like very thin paper with tiny, tiny type on it and a whole lot on their yeah. It's like a small,
novelette, yeah yeah. I agree I mean I haven't. I haven't seen one in a long time, but last time I did yeah we I'd like a rat in addition to the patient packet, Sir, the pill hearings in the overall debate over oral contraceptives had a huge impact on the consumer health movement, especially as it related to women in nineteen. Seventy five seamen, Wilson and three other activists founded the national. Women's health network. You'll see that listed as end W h, n and that still exist today, and it combines lobbying activism and education, yes, and it was part of a much bigger movement that was about like consumer education and and
armed consent and people having the right to know what the potential side effects are of any drug that they're taking today to just circle back to jail or Nelson for a minute. He is not best known for these pill. Hearings he's best known as the founder of Earth Day, which he also did a nineteen seventy. So that's that's kind of the story of how we got to this point that you're supposed to be informed of the risks of things of drugs that you take before you actually take them, which hopefully we will understand better, whether these like what exactly these very rare, Risks with the vaccines may be in and how best to tell people about them. What's gonna listener mail for you? Well, I have with their mail from in is the person who had suggested the rum rebellion episode and and road and again to say thanks for doing that suggestion and to thank them.
Worse than who wrote in about the gum not baby and and Cook Amara illustration that we talked about and must remain and then to just skip ahead in has sent some interesting information related to cardboard boxes and a Christmas story, and so I'm gonna reject that part of this email in says quotes. I too think a wooden box was used for dramatic effect. However, I did also think about intermodal containers, as they became popular in the nineteen seventies before containers just about weeping being shipped from lamps to pianos, two facts of flour to car parts, and so on had to be manually loaded and on loaded onto every form of transport. It travelled on from ship to track to train car. This resulted in a lot of break it and also theft. When containers came along, something like say a leg lamp
be loaded onto a container in a factory in China and then not be touched until I got to a distribution centre in Atlanta, the reduction in damage meant it could now be shipped in a cheaper, lighter cardboard box rather than a heavy wooden box. I will not suggest an episode of intermodal containers, because I think that might be too geeky fearless nurse who are not real, rotors or similar. Like me, for instance, before containers, ships are often limited and size, because if they got any bigger, they would spend more time in port. Then at sea, for instance, the Liberty ships which, for mass produced during World war, two who were ten thousand tonnes in size, but the ever given the ship that recently made headlines by getting stuck in the Suez Canal, is two hundred Thou
and times also waterfront of many cities of the world from London, England, to Wellington, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia to Baltimore USA have been changed by container shipping container ships needed new types of creams and open spaces. Next to the worst store containers instead of warehouses, this often meant new purpose built ports had to be built for them. This left the old wharves and warehouses free to be redeveloped into everything, from waterfront apartments, tourist areas to new business centres and that there is a whole further detail on thereabout amateur wrap this email at this point. Thank you in for writing. This setting of Christmas story of a little earlier than was described in the list or mail that we originally read, but it doesn't
aims. The bulk of my answer, which was that am cardboard boxes, existed early enough that there's like their pictures of things like World war, wine gas masks being distributed in cardboard boxes. That would not have changed but I felt like this information about shipping containers was a really interesting add on TAT battle, specific conversation. So thank you in number, one for suggesting the RAM rebellion episode and also number two for writing it. With this additional information. If you'd like to write to us about this or any other podcast where history, five Cath, that I hurt radio dot com and were also all over social media admission. History, that's real hundred facebook and twitter and Pinterest and Instagram, and you can subscribed Arusha. I heard you app and apple, podcast and anywhere else that you get your podcast stop PMS than history class, the production I heart radio for more broadcasts from
radio busy by her radio have added mankind's or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. No bath Bob away Zimbabwe, the broken bunsen burner, burn so right, South Jenny, southeast asian painting, Sula again. Yes, I think your online we need from you today is where she switch to progressive could see big. Could I just got to finish my warm up? How far throw in the towel history, hips, which the progressive today send us geese la them. Skin suit The casualty insurance company in affiliates everyone Bobby Flay, and I'm here with my daughter and co host Sophie hello, we're here to announce that we have a brand new podcast with Iheart Radio called always hungry
I. So we tell anybody what you're gonna hear on always well, we're definitely going to cooking swift, no oil, and we have a single. This is, in fact, just sounds Gilbert and you'll be mixing drinks, of course, hundred taken shape, badgering but, most importantly, will be having those conversations at the stove and the dinner table that families love to have. I feel like in the past people have really rethought about near the importance of come together around a shared meal. So that's what will be in the shell just hanging around the table, always Hungary on the pie, radioactive apple, podcast or ever you get your part. Yes,.
Transcript generated on 2021-05-06.