Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE:TEVA) today announced that the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion in a referral procedure regarding the authorization of its extended-regimen oral contraceptive, Seasonique ® (levonorgestrel (0.15 mg)/ethinyl estradiol (0.03 mg) and low-dose ethinyl estradiol (0.01 mg) tablets) for the prevention of pregnancy. The CHMP concluded that the benefits of Seasonique ® outweigh its risks clearing the way for Seasonique ®’s approval by local health authorities of the European Union (EU) Member States and launch in select countries throughout Europe by the end of 2014.
Seasonique ® is an extended regimen birth control option that contains 84 active pills made up of levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol and is followed by seven days of ethinyl estradiol tablets. The ethinyl estradiol tablets are used during the seven days, instead of a placebo interval, allowing women to have four scheduled periods a year and potentially lessening the withdrawal symptoms that result from a sudden, sharp decrease in hormones. Seasonique ® is backed by extensive clinical trials and real-world experience, and is more than 99 percent effective when taken as directed.
“Seasonique’s approval will allow physicians to prescribe their patients an oral contraceptive that offers less frequent menses and is both safe and effective," noted Rossella Nappi, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Italy and investigator in the Seasonique ® EU study. “Women now starting on oral hormonal contraceptive will be able to choose to have a monthly menstrual period or not.”
Data demonstrate that when informed that monthly menses is not medically necessary while on the pill, seven out of 10 women prefer to have fewer periods a year. In fact, a global survey of women in the U.S., Brazil and Germany indicated that a majority of respondents stated a preference to have just four periods a year.