Ortho Evra Litigation (defective drug)

When the Ortho Evra transdermal control patch was first released back in 2002, most women welcomed the change. The patch was an alternative to birth control pills and other forms of contraception, and it did not require any doctor visits or daily pills. According to its manufacturer, Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, the patch was said to be equally as effective as other oral contraceptives and needed to be applied once a week, rather than once a day.

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before a serious defect with the pill was uncovered. In order to stop pregnancy, the patch would expose women to high doses of hormones - far more than originally thought. Because of the high levels of estrogen in the blood, some women began to experience blood clots and other terrible side effects that led to heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms. In some of these cases, the side effects were fatal.

The Food and Drug Administration officially ordered Ortho McNeil to issue a warning to all female users of Ortho Evra's dangers back in November 2005, but litigations against this drug are still ongoing. If you or a loved one used the Ortho Evra patch, know that you have the right to collect compensation.

Dangers of Ortho Evra

Birth control pills and patches work by introducing more estrogen and progestin into a woman's bloodstream. This hormone controls when an egg will or will not be released.

To use the patch, women placed it on their upper body, lower abdomen, or buttocks, and estrogen and progestin would be released into the bloodstream to prevent ovulation. The patch had to be replaced every week, and on break weeks, the user would get her period.

The problem with Ortho Evra occurred when it was discovered that too many hormones were being released into the bloodstream, causing serious blood clots and other serious side effects. Women who used the patched for extended amounts of time were more likely to experience such side effects because so many hormones had been released into the bloodstream. So far, there have been a number of deaths that have already been directly linked to the patch.

Possible side effects include:

  • Heart attacks
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Blood clots
  • Strokes
  • Death

The dangers of the patch were first released in 2005. The FDA, upon receiving 21 reports regarding blood clots that were determined to be life threatening, further investigated the drug and discovered its side effects. The Associated Press later reported that the FDA's findings showed that 17 patch users had died due to heart attacks, blood clots, and possibly strokes. The data traced all the way back to August 2002.

What was once a great alternative to the birth control pill suddenly became a very dangerous choice for contraceptives. Ortho McNeil was ordered to redesign its label and expose the truth about Ortho Evra's side effects, but plenty of damage had already been done to a number of women. A whistle blower at Johnson & Johnson, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Joel Lippman, said that he had advised the company multiple times about Ortho Evra, but the company refused to recall the patch or issue any warnings. In his defense in a whistle-blower lawsuit, Lippman showed clinical studies that had previously proven Ortho Evra's dangers.

Contact Giddens Law Firm

If you used the Ortho Evra patch and suffered a heart attack or stroke due to rise of estrogen in your body that led to blood clots, then you may be eligible for compensation for physical as well as emotional injuries. The Giddens Law Firm is here to help.

Don't let the drug companies put you at risk. Contact Giddens Law Firm for a free consultation by phone at 601-355-2022 or fill out a contact form here. Your health matters. Let Giddens Law Firm get you the justice you deserve for your injuries.