More than 100 women across the U.S. are now part of a class action lawsuit against a drug company which committed a packaging error of its birth control pills, ultimately leading to the plaintiffs’ unplanned or “unintended pregnancies.” They are demanding that the drugmaker, Qualitest, pay for the cost of raising their children.
The women charge that their pregnancies happened after a packaging error in 2011 which caused placebos and hormone pills to be diametrically flipped. This reversed the tablet regimen and resulted in their unintended pregnancies. Once the error was discovered, both the manufacturer and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued simultaneous recalls for several million monthly “blister” packets of the birth control pills.
This class action is on behalf of women in more than 20 states. It was filed in a Pennsylvania state court, which is the location of Qualitest’s parent company, Endo Pharmaceuticals. The case seeks millions in damages, covering the costs of delivering, raising, and educating the children born from these unplanned pregnancies.
According to plaintiffs’ lawyers’ research, even though the Qualitest recall was announced in September 2011, some of the pills may have been on shelves for almost a year before being discovered.
Other Birth Control Related Lawsuits
Depending on future events, another similar recall could lead to unintended pregnancy lawsuits, especially if the Qualitest class action is successful for the plaintiffs. In late May 2017, Baltimore, Maryland’s, Lupin Pharmaceuticals voluntarily recalled a large lot of Norethindrone Acetate and Ethinyl Estradiol oral contraceptives.
Lupin says a packaging error caused four nonhormonal placebo tablets – as opposed to active hormonal tablets – to be dispensed in the first four days of the blister packet’s 28-day cycle, thereby making women vulnerable to unintended pregnancy.
However, another packaging error occurred on many of the boxes containing the blister “wallets,” concealing the lot number and expiration date on the recalled product and thereby creating challenges in locating all defective packages. According to Lupin, as of the recall date – May 25 – there had been no reports of what Lupin calls “adverse events” (unintended pregnancies).
Yet another class action suit against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer seeks damages for a similar “pill swap” recall that affects millions of monthly dose packages could have a further impact on what “big pharma” pays out for a relatively new class of defective drug lawsuits: “wrongful pregnancies” or “unintended conceptions.”
The landscape is already scattered with other defective drug lawsuits, which have caused injuries and even a few wrongful deaths. Some of them include:
- Essure Birth Control Implant Infections – Placed in the fallopian tubes, they have at times caused hemorrhaging, leading to an FDA “black box warning,” the agency’s most dire public advisory.
- NuvaRing’s Blood Clots – Once implanted vaginally, the device releases hormones – primarily progestin. This removes the need to remember to take the daily birth control pill. But the hormones in NuvaRing have been linked to dangerous blood clots, some fatal.
- Yaz Birth Control Pills’ Blood Clots – These problems are similar to those caused by NuvaRing. Women taking the pills experience higher risk of blood clots – some are two to three times more likely to suffer venous thromboembolism (VTE). The FDA has warned women to discontinue use.
- Mirena IUD Complications – The active ingredient in Mirena’s IUD is the hormone levonorgestrel. Lawsuits claim the device migrates further into a women’s reproductive system to pierce fallopian tubes, which can cause miscarriages and infertility.
If you have been injured by defective birth control devices, or experienced unintended pregnancy due to a packaging error, the defective drug lawyers with Guajardo & Marks can help. Contact us today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 972-774-9800 to schedule a free consultation.