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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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California Women Warned About IUDs

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California state health officials are investigating physicians who have potentially purchased the medical contraceptive device known as an IUD through unlicenced vendors. The threat to consumers in the distribution of medical devices obtained without regulatory safeguards is a very real issue in today’s global community.

The Los Angeles Times reported on September 10, 2006, that 850 women in Southern California are being notified by authorities that their doctors are being investigated for allegedly illegally obtaining contraceptives from unlicenced internet-or Mexico based providers. An IUD which stands for intrauterine device is made of plastic or metal and is placed witin the uterus. California physicians are required, by law, to purchase IUDs from licensed distributors in the United States.

“The physicians under investigation have failed to provide proper evidence that shows they purchased federally approved IUDs from FDA-approved sources,” California public health officer Dr. Mark Horton said in a statement.

“Their safety and effectiveness are unknown,” he wrote.

No specific health threat was identified Saturday. IUDs used abroad do “seem to be effective and safe in the countries they are used,” said Dr. Susann Steinberg, another state health official.

The availability to purchase goods via the internet MUST be balanced with basic safety concerns which underlay the law requiring only licensed distributors sell IUDs. Consumers must be cautious when purchasing goods via the internet to insure basic safety needs are met.