NuvaRing Lawsuits Raise New Concerns Over Birth Control Safety
The safety of hormone-based birth control continues to generate concern, as Merck acknowledges that it’s facing an estimated 950 lawsuits filed on behalf of women who claim they were injured by the company’s NuvaRing birth control device. The plaintiffs allege that they suffered blood clots and other complications, which echo the thousands of claims filed against Bayer in connection with its Yaz birth control pills.
According to Merck’s 2011 fiscal year report, there were approximately 950 NuvaRing lawsuits pending as of December 31, 2011. The initial complaints were filed in May 2007 in various courts around the country against Merck’s subsidiaries, Organon and Schering-Plough. The lawsuits allege that NuvaRing is responsible for a wide range of serious complications, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), venous thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism, stroke and in some cases, death. The plaintiffs claim that Merck and its subsidiaries were aware that NuvaRing carried a higher risk of blood clots and other complications compared to other types of hormone-based contraceptives but the company did not adequately warn consumers of the potential dangers.
NuvaRing is a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina and placed against the cervix. The ring slowly releases a third-generation hormone combination of etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol, which is designed to prevent ovulation. The birth control device first gained FDA approval in 2001.
The majority of the NuvaRing lawsuits are currently pending in a federal multridistrict litigation in a Missouri court. The remaining cases are pending in a New Jersey Superior Court. It’s believed that additional lawsuits may be filed in connection with adverse NuvaRing side effects.
The NuvaRing lawsuits represent another instance of potentially unsafe birth control products resulting in injuries to unsuspecting consumers. Thousands of women have filed lawsuits against Bayer AG, alleging that they suffered similar complications, including blood clot, stroke and deep vein thrombosis after using the company’s Yaz birth control pills. Yaz is a fourth-generation contraceptive which contains a synthetic hormone known as drospirenone. According to an FDA-funded study published in October 2011, women who use birth control pills containing drospirenone are 74% more likely to experience a blood clot compared to women who use older types of oral contraceptives. The FDA also published another study in 2011 which indicated that the blood clot risk among NuvaRing users increased by 56% compared to women who used older types of birth control pills.
Research studies continue to indicate that newer types of birth control may present a significant risk to the health of the women who use them. Women who are considering starting or stopping use of NuvaRing, Yaz or a similar type of contraceptive should consult their doctor before doing so in order to weight the risks and benefits. If you or a loved one suffered a blood clot or other serious complication after using NuvaRing or Yaz, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It’s recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced birth control injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing women injured by Yaz and other types of birth control. For more information on filing a birth control injury lawsuit, call 1-800-718-4658 to begin your free initial case evaluation. There is never a fee unless damages are recovered on your behalf.