NuvaRing Named in 300 Lawsuits

<"">NuvaRing, a contraceptive device marketed by Organon Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co., has been named in some 300 product liability lawsuits. The lawsuits claim that NuvaRing caused plaintiffs to suffer serious, life-threatening blood clots.

NuvaRing is a transparent, flexible vaginal ring that provides month-long birth control by emitting a continuous dose of estrogen and progestin for 21 days. The device releases a combination of ethinyl estradiol, a form of the hormone estrogen, and etonogestral. Nuvaring is marketed as providing the same efficacy as birth control pills but more convenient by offering month-long protection.

NuvaRing lawsuits allege that because the device delivers a constant stream of hormone unmediated by the digestive system or the liver, patients end up getting higher doses than they do from older pills. High estrogen doses create a greater risk of blood clots, which can be fatal. The complaints charge that the defendants failed to adequately test NuvaRing or warn about the potential for side effects, including an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and sudden death.

In August 2009, NuvaRing lawsuits pending in federal courts around the country were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri before District Judge Rodney W. Sipple. Attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants have selected an initial pool of 13 cases cases, from which the first “bellwhether” or test trials will be selected.

In addition to the mulitdistrict litigation, NuvaRing lawsuits in New Jersey state court.

Some legal experts believe thousands of NuvaRing lawsuits could eventually be filed.

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