Understanding NuvaRing Dangers

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Pharmaceutical Defects | 2 comments

There is something to be said for a medical device that one can set and forget, at least for a while. This is the main attraction of NuvaRing, a contraceptive ring designed to be placed in the vagina to inhibit penetration of sperm as well as ovulation. Introduced to the market by Merck and Co., NuvaRing is characterized by the slow release of contraceptive hormones ethinyl estradiol and etonogesrel over three weeks after insertion, at which time it needs to be removed, usually coinciding with the user’s menstrual period.

For contraception to be effective, the user has to be diligent. This is the main problem with contraceptive pills, which need to be taken daily and in sequence. NuvaRing made it easier for women to ensure perfect use without having to include it in the daily routine. The problem with NuvaRing was that aside from being convenient, it also proved to cause serious injury. This, according to the website of personal injury law firm Williams Kherkher, should not have happened if the drug manufacturer had observed their duty of care.

NuvaRing needs to be obtained via a doctor’s prescription, but there was nothing in the literature about serious side effects of the device. It was only after 8 years and millions of women prescribed with it later that it was figured out that the hormones released by NuvaRing increased the risk of abnormal blood clot formation in users 6.5 times compared to non-users. A blood clot can travel in the blood stream and lodge in critical areas which can cause stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other life-threatening conditions.

About 3,800 injured women or their families are eligible to file a case against Merck for failure to test the product properly and failure to warn doctors and patients. The plaintiffs allege that Merck knew of the NuvaRing dangers as early as 2002, but it was only because a lawsuit was filed against them in 2008 that it became widely known.

Merck had recently announced a settlement of $100 million for all current and pending NuvaRing cases, and for some the statute of limitations has run out. Nevertheless, if you or a family member has suffered injury from using NuvaRing, you may still qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit. Consult with a lawyer in your area with experience in handling NuvaRing cases.

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