Imagine the horror of taking what is believed to be a birth control pill that prevents pregnancy but instead taking a sugar placebo pill that doesn’t prevent pregnancy. That’s what at least 113 women claim happened to them when they swallowed what appeared to be birth control pills in their birth control pill packs. Instead, they were really taking sugar placebo pills placed in the wrong location in their birth control pill packages, reports CNN. As a result, the FDA previously launched a birth control pill recall.
The Qualitest Birth Control Pills are at the heart of the lawsuit that claims 113 women took sugar placebo pills instead of their birth control pills, which ultimately led to pregnancy in some cases.
Birth control packaging error leads to lawsuit https://t.co/yVUeWiT09K— CNN (@CNN) November 12, 2015
According to the lawsuit that prompted the recall of the Qualitest Birth Control Pills, the birth control pills were packaged in a manner that made them defective.
“Defendants Qualitest, Endo, Patheon and John Doe Company I – VII defectively and dangerously designed, manufactured, packaged, sold, and distributed Birth Control Pills.
“Qualitest Birth Control Pills…were erroneously packaged. The Birth Control Pills purchased by the Petitioners were packaged such that select blisters found inside the pill box were rotated 180 degrees within the card, reversing the weekly tablet orientation.
“As a result of the packaging error, the daily regimen for the Birth Control Pills left women without adequate contraception and at risk for unwanted pregnancy. Petitioners used the Birth Control Pills as directed by the Defendants, and suffered damages as a result of the packaging defect described above.”
As women who take birth control pills generally learn, some pills are designed so that three weeks’ worth of active birth control pills can be taken for 21 days. Next, there are usually seven days worth of sugar or placebo pills, which are ineffective. Some women choose to take the sugar pills, which are generally a different color than the active birth control pills, just so they’ll remain on track with their pill-taking. Others toss those sugar pills because they know they are ineffective for preventing pregnancy.
The women in the lawsuit say that they consumed the birth control pills correctly, but a mistake in the way the pills were packaged meant that they were taking sugar pills when they thought they were taking active birth control pills. The mistake happened when the recalled birth control pill packages were rotated 180 degrees — an error that caused the placebo pills to reside in the place of the active birth control pills.
Out of the 113 involved in the lawsuit who say they became pregnant or suffered unwanted consequences from the defective birth control pills, 94 of the women gave birth to babies that weren’t planned due to the recalled pills. Another 17 didn’t fully carry their pregnancies to term, and the remaining two women aren’t pregnant. However, all of the women are seeking monies from the mix-up in order to make up for their pain and suffering — even the cost of raising the children — along with lost income.
The recalled birth control pills had been manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals’ Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, and the recalled pills happened in September 2011, as reported by CNN.
The FDA listed the recalled birth control pills and more specific information about brand names.
• Cyclafem™ 7/7/7
• Cyclafem™ 1/35
• Gildess® FE 1.5/30
• Gildess® FE 1/20
• Previfem ®
Although the recall supposedly only occurred due to a small number of incorrect birth control pill packs, court documents revealed that the voluntary recall included 3.2 million birth control pill packs.
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