Parker & Waichman, LLP Files Suit Against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., Additional Suits to be Filed in Coming Months - JNJ
Suit Filed on Behalf of 34 Year Old Woman Who Suffered Severe Pulmonary Embolism After Using Ortho Evra Birth Control PatchAug 24, 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 34 year-old woman. The woman was diagnosed with a severe pulmonary embolism after using the Ortho Evra birth control patch less than two years. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey earlier this month. Additionally, Parker & Waichman, LLP announced that it plans to file a significant number of additional cases against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. throughout the remainder of 2006. For more information on Ortho Evra and this case, 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 Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after experiencing headaches, shortness of breath and right anterior pleuritic chest pain. Diagnostic tests taken at the hospital revealed large pulmonary embolus in right upper lobe involving a secondary order vessel that extended into two third order vessels. The woman was hospitalized for six days to receive 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.
On November 10, 2005, Ortho McNeil, in conjunction with the FDA, issued a warning about the increased risks of blood clots associated with Ortho Evra. In the new warning, 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.
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CONTACT: Parker & Waichman, LLP
Jason Mark, Esq.
Melanie H. Muhlstock, Esq.