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Ortho Evra popularity suggests women prefer 'the patch' for birth control

RARITAN, N.J., July 16, 2003 -- In one year since its introduction, Ortho Evra (norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol transdermal system) has become one of the most popular birth control options and the fastest growing hormonal contraceptive in the United States, according to its manufacturer. A survey of more than 8,000 patch users shows that women prefer the Ortho Evra birth control patch -- which offers women a simple, easy-to-remember option for birth control -- over the method they used before making the switch.

Women have embraced the birth control patch with great enthusiasm because it fits their personal lifestyle. Results from the survey, conducted by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., maker of the patch, indicate that nine out of 10 patch users prefer Ortho Evra to their former birth control method, and 95 percent of women are satisfied with Ortho Evra as a discreet form of birth control. These findings support the rising popularity of Ortho Evra, which was named one of the "Coolest Inventions of 2002" by 'Time' magazine.

"As a busy medical assistant and mother, I've been looking for a more convenient form of birth control that I wouldn't have to think about every day. Ortho Evra works for me -- it's discreet, easy-to-use, and fits my active life," said Patrice Cummings, an Ortho Evra user from Houston, Texas.

Since its launch in May 2002, Ortho Evra has been embraced by both women and health professionals. "My patients tell me that they like the once-a-week schedule; it is convenient and easy to remember," said Patricia Stephenson, MD, Stoneridge Obstetrics and Gynecology in Sellersville, PA. "I've been prescribing Ortho Evra because it is a highly-effective contraceptive method that meets a woman's need for a more simple birth control option."

Women can wear the thin, smooth, flexible-to-the-touch, beige-colored patch on any one of four discreet areas of the body: the buttocks, abdomen, upper torso (front and back excluding the breasts), or upper outer arm.

A survey released by the American Medical Women's Association and Ortho-McNeil in November 2001, showed that 59 percent of women forget to take their birth control, while three in four women prefer a birth control method that is more adaptable to their lives. Women and obstetricians/gynecologists agreed that birth control should not require daily attention (86 percent and 87 percent) or frequent visits to the doctor (67 percent and 76 percent).

Ortho Evra is covered by most major managed care formularies, providing easy access to millions of women. In the United States, women can learn more about Ortho Evra by calling 1-877-BC-PATCH or visiting

The new survey was compiled from 8,271 Ortho Evra users who joined the PatchedIn! program, a free, six-month informational program for new users of Ortho Evra sponsored by Ortho-McNeil. Survey information was gathered from April 28 to November 11, 2002. Respondents included 4,848 women who used an oral contraceptive for longer than one year.

The November 2001 survey, sponsored by the American Medical Women's Association with funding from Ortho-McNeil, "Women and OB/GYNs Speak Up," was conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide with 600 women and 300 OB/GYNs via telephone interviews conducted between April 26, 2001 and May 24, 2001.

Ortho Evra is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy. Ortho Evra is not for everyone. Women should speak with their health care professional about which birth control method is right for them.

The contraceptive patch contains hormones similar to those in birth control pills. Hormonal contraceptives are not for everybody. Most side effects of the contraceptive patch are not serious and those that are, occur infrequently. Serious risks, which can be life-threatening, include blood clots, stroke or heart attacks and are increased if you smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially if you are over 35. Women who use hormonal contraceptives are strongly advised not to smoke. Some women should not use the contraceptive patch, including women who have blood clots, certain cancers, a history of heart attack or stroke, as well as those who are or may be pregnant. The contraceptive patch does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Source: Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical;

Posted: July 2003