Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, maker of the folate-enhanced contraceptives Safyral and Beyaz, has recruited TV personality Vanessa Minnillo to front an unbranded campaign promoting the use of daily folate supplements to women.
The Girlfriends for Folate campaign, for which the company has partnered with the March of Dimes and women's website DailyCandy.com, features a Facebook page
and a competition inviting women to register with the site as a “GFF.” Bayer will donate $1 to the March of Dimes for every registration, and the winning region will host a celebrity walk, including Minnillo, the weekend of April 30. Registrants can also pitch in on fundraising, and the company will fly out the top fundraiser to walk with Minnillo.
Bayer won approval for two oral contraceptives last year – Safyral and Beyaz – that are similar to its Yasmin and Yaz, plus folate and a B vitamin. The contraceptives are indicated for boosting folate, thereby reducing the risk of serious birth defects, known as neural tube defects, in a pregnancy conceived while taking the product or shortly thereafter. In announcing Beyaz's approval, Bayer quoted Dr. Anita Nelson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California as saying: “Combining an oral contraceptive with folate is important, because women may become pregnant during OC use or shortly after discontinuation, possibly before seeking preconception counseling from their healthcare provider. For women who want to use an oral contraceptive, Beyaz offers a new option for women to receive daily folate supplementation.”