Birth Control Patch Allegedly Causes Serious Cardiovascular Problems
Late in 2005, a motion was filed with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) by a plaintiff's lawyer requesting the consolidation of all federal court lawsuits alleging injury or death due to use of the Ortho Evra birth control patch.
Ortho Evra is manufactured by Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. , a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The Ortho Evra birth control patch was approved by the FDA in 2001.
On November 10, 2005 the FDA issued a warning about an increased risk of blood clots associated with Ortho Evra, which clots can cause serious injury or death.
In more detail, this recently filed legal motion calls for the creation of an Ortho Evra mulitidistrict litigation, or MDL, and requests that the Ortho Evra MDL, if granted, be assigned to the District of New Jersey in the federal court system. Specifically, the Ortho Evra MDL motion was filed on behalf of the plaintiff in Lydia M. Lilly v. Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., et al. (Civil Action No. 2:05-cv-04313 (D. New Jersey).
At the time when the Ortho Evra MDL motion was filed there were about twenty individual Ortho Evra lawsuits already filed in the federal court system, and at least one federal class action. Many more personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits concerning women who used Ortho Evra birth control patches are expected to be filed in the months to come.
The typical Ortho Evra lawsuit alleges that Ortho-McNeil was aware of the increased risk of serious side effects -- namely, strokes, pulmonary emboli, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and heart attacks resulting in serious injury or death -- associated with Ortho Evra before the drug was approved by the FDA in November 2001. Moreover, the lawsuits generally allege that Ortho-McNeil failed to adequately warn doctors, patients, and the FDA about these serious cardiovascular side effects after the drug went on the market. Significantly, over five million woman have reportedly used Ortho Evra since it went on the market in 2001.
The Ortho Evra lawsuits typically name as defendants some combination of the following entities: Johnson & Johnson; Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. (formerly known as R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute); and, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Ortho Evra remains on the market today. It has been reported, however, that the number of new and renewed Ortho Evra prescriptions written has declined since the FDA warning was announced in the first part of November 2005.
(Posted by: Tom Lamb)