Medicine: More Time for Pills

After more than five years of use, oral contraceptives have proved to be "virtually 100% effective,' reported the authoritative Medical Letter. But the report hastened to add a warning: birth-control pills still have not been used "over a sufficient part of the human life span to rule out the possibility of important injurious effects."

Any pill users who have become pregnant, the Medical Letter maintains, can attribute their condition to "misunderstanding or negligence" (the pills must be taken 20 days a month, at a monthly cost of about $3.50). But despite such assurance, the Letter suggests that until information about possible long-term...

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