Law Firms Filed A Lawsuit Against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical. Parker & Waichman, LLP (www.yourlawyer.com) announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., a division of Johnson and Johnson Inc. (NYSE:JNJ), on behalf of a 26 year-old woman. The suit, which was filed last week in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, was the 100th lawsuit filed by Parker & Waichman, LLP on behalf of Ortho Evra victims. Parker & Waichman, LLP has been retained by hundreds of additional women who were injured after using the Ortho Evra birth control patch and will continue to file suits against Ortho McNeil throughout the remainder of 2006 and 2007.
To request a free Ortho Evra case consultation for yourself or a loved one, please visit www.orthopatchlawsuit.com or www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Ortho_Evra_Patch .
On October 13, 2003, at age 26, the injured woman was taken to the emergency room at Kings’ Daughters’ Medical Center in Kentucky after experiencing shortness of breath. Diagnostic tests administered at the hospital revealed that the woman was suffering from pulmonary emboli. The victim was admitted to the hospital and received anticoagulant treatment. It is likely that the injured woman will need anticoagulant medication for a protracted period of time and potentially for the remainder of her life. Additionally, this condition may prevent the victim from using certain medications that may be necessary for her health in the future, including hormone replacement therapy.
About Ortho Evra:
In September 2006, 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 when 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 face 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 than 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 Emboli Can Be Fatal
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. As of November 2005, the FDA had 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 were 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.
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