Pharmaceutical

Lawsuits claim Nuvaring is just as dangerous as Ortho Evra patch, Yaz

Another contraceptive for women is finding its way into the courtroom, following in the footsteps of Bayer Healthcare’s Yaz pill and Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Evra patch. This time Merck & Co. Inc., is facing a slew of lawsuits over the drug company’s Nuvaring. Plaintiffs claim that the “first and only, once-a-month vaginal birth control ring” is more dangerous than older and equally effective products on the market and has caused them to develop life-threatening blood clots.

According to the Southeastern Texas Record, three east Texas women filed lawsuits against Merck & Co. Inc., alleging that they relied on misrepresentations of the device and as a result suffered injuries. All claim the manufacturers failed to warn them of the greater risk of venous thromboembolism, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

The Nuvaring controversy is just another incident in which women claim that makers of contraceptives failed to adequately warn them of the increased risk of serious injury when using the birth control. Johnson & Johnson recently paid $68 million to settle thousands of cases against women who say they suffered from blood clots and other serious events after using the Ortho Evra birth control patch. As a result, the company no longer actively markets the patch.

Bayer Healthcare has found itself in a similar mess with its biggest money-maker, Yaz, a birth control pill also known by the brand name Yasmin. Plaintiffs claim the hormone-plus-diuretic formulation is more dangerous than other oral contraceptives, causing life-threatening blood clots and gallbladder problems.