Medicine: Recalling a Pill

Until last month, no serious side effects had been reported. Chlormadinone, the "one-every-day" birth control pill, was on general-prescription sale in Britain, France and Mexico and was being widely tested in the U.S. Then a few beagle bitches being dosed with abnormally large quantities of chlormadinone developed nodules near their nipples. In the resulting fuss, further distribution of the contraceptive was halted in the U.S. Now the feeling is growing among many researchers that the recall of chlormadinone pills—like the banning of cyclamates—was a hasty and precipitous action that was based on insufficient and possibly misleading evidence.

Chlormadinone differs from conventional forms...

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