A new birth control pill, Qlaira, has been developed by the pharmaceutical company Bayer Schering Pharma and is now available in the United Kingdom and in various countries throughout Europe. It is the first “natural” contraceptive pill made from a bioidentical hormone.
Bioidentical hormones are formulated from plants and produce effects identical to the actual hormone. This could mean decreased chances for cancer, blood clots and other negative side effects that are present with typical contraceptive pills.
Like some versions of birth control pills, Qlaira prevents pregnancy by halting ovulation and has proven to be as effective as traditional contraceptive pills. According to rival pharmaceutical company Hays Pharma, Qlaira boasts an extremely high patient satisfaction rate of about 80 percent.
The Bayer Schering Pharma company is also responsible for developing the contraceptive pill YAZ, which is widely distributed in the U.S. Eventually, Qlaira may be approved for use in the U.S., though no known plans are in the works.