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Parker & Waichman, LLP Files Lawsuit Against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. on Behalf of Ortho Evra Victim - JNJ

25-Year-Old Woman Suffered Severe Bilateral Pulmonary Emboli After Using Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch for Six Months

Sep 19, 2006 | PrimeZone

Parker & Waichman, LLP (www.yourlawyer.com) announced that it has filed suit against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., a division of Johnson and Johnson Inc. (NYSE:JNJ), on behalf of a 25 year-old woman. The woman was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary emboli after using the Ortho Evra birth control patch for six months. The suit was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County (midl-8005-06), earlier this month. Parker & Waichman, LLP continues to evaluate new Ortho Evra injury cases, and plans to file a significant number of additional cases against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. throughout the remainder of 2006. To request a free Ortho Evra case consultation, please visit www.orthopatchlawsuit.com or www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Ortho_Evra_Patch.

On August 24, 2004, the injured victim was taken to the emergency room at St. Mary's Medical Center in Wisconsin after experiencing lightheadedness, shortness of breath and chest pain. Diagnostic tests taken at the hospital revealed bilateral pulmonary emboli. The woman was hospitalized and received Heparin and Coumadin anticoagulant therapy. It is likely that the injured woman will need anticoagulant medication for a protracted period of time, potentially for the remainder of her life.

Last month, an epidemiological study provided further evidence that Ortho Evra is unreasonably dangerous and should be recalled from the market. The study found that women using the Ortho Evra birth control patch are twice as likely to develop blood clots compared with those using oral birth control pills. As a result of this study, The Food and Drug Administration updated Ortho Evra's warning language to reflect that women using the patch faced twice the risk of blood clots as compared to women on the pill. The FDA also asked Ortho McNeil to conduct a longer study of the contraceptive patch to evaluate the risks of blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

On November 10, 2005, Ortho McNeil, in conjunction with the FDA, modified its package insert to reflect that users of Ortho Evra are exposed to significantly more estrogen compared with women using oral contraceptives. In the November 10, 2005 label change, Ortho-McNeil admitted for the first time that women who use the patch will be exposed to up to 60% more estrogen than they would be exposed to if they were taking a birth control pill with 35 micrograms of estrogen. The patch is only intended to deliver 20 micrograms of estrogen. The FDA's announcement on this warning can be found at www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2005/NEW01262.html. It is widely understood that increased exposure to estrogen greatly increases the risk of blood clots, which can cause serious injury or death.

Pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage in a lung artery, usually due to a blood clot that traveled to the lung from the leg, but clots can also form in the pelvic vein. Pulmonary thromboembolism can be fatal or may result in pulmonary arterial obstruction, pulmonary obstruction, pulmonary infarction, chronic pulmonary hypertension, dyspenea and tachypnea. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, anxiety, chest pain, fainting and convulsions. Treatment may include long term use of anticoagulant medications and/or surgery. Recent reports have indicated that the risk of developing blood clots, pulmonary thromboembolism, heart attack and stroke may be significantly higher with the Ortho Evra patch than with oral contraceptive use.

It is alleged that Ortho-McNeil was aware of the increased medical risks associated with Ortho Evra before the drug was approved and that, once approved, the company failed to adequately warn patients about these risks. Evidence shows that the risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke associated with Ortho Evra is significantly higher than with oral contraceptive pills. The incidence of embolisms and thrombotic injuries in Phase III trials of Ortho Evra was reportedly six times greater than the incidence of such events in oral contraceptives using the hormone levonorgestrel. The FDA has logged 9,116 reports of adverse reactions to the patch in a 17-month period, whereas Ortho Tri-Cyclen, a birth control pill, only generated 1,237 adverse reports in a six-year period. During a 12-month period, 44 serious injuries or deaths have been associated with Ortho Evra, whereas only 17 such reports were linked to the birth control pill during a similar time period. The pattern is further magnified when usage rates are considered: Ortho Tri-Cyclen has six times the number of users as Ortho Evra.

Ortho Evra is an adhesive, transdermal birth control patch that users are instructed to apply to their upper torso, upper outer arm, buttock or abdomen. The patch is intended to release 150 mcg of norelgestromin and 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol into the bloodstream per 24 hours. It is replaced once a week for three weeks, and no patch is worn during the fourth week during menstruation. The regimen is then repeated. Ortho Evra was approved by the FDA in November 2001, and over 4 million women have used Ortho Evra since its approval. Ortho Evra continues to be marketed aggressively to both consumers and physicians.

About Parker & Waichman, LLP

Parker & Waichman, LLP is a leading products liability and personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York and New Jersey. Parker & Waichman, LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation for injuries resulting from defective medications and medical devices. The firm is currently representing individuals injured by Vioxx, Bextra, Zyprexa, Ketek, ReNu with MoistureLoc, Guidant Defibrillators and many other defective drugs and medical products. For more information on Parker & Waichman, LLP, please visit: www.yourlawyer.com or call (800) YOURLAWYER.

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at www.primezone.com/ca.

CONTACT:  Parker & Waichman, LLP
          Jason Mark, Esq.
          Melanie H. Muhlstock, Esq.
          (800) YOURLAWYER
          (800) 968-7529
          info@yourlawyer.com
          www.yourlawyer.com


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