In December 2007, New Jersey mother of two, Jackie Bozicev collapsed one morning on her way to the shower. Her husband called 911, and the EMT’s did whatever they could to revive her based upon what little information they had about the problem, but Jackie, just 32 years old was dead before they reached the hospital.
To unravel the mystery of her death, and autopsy was performed, and the M.E. determined that Mrs. Bozicev died of a blood clot that started in her pelvic area and migrated up to her lungs.
Prior to her sudden death, Jackie had been perfectly healthy. Her husband, Rob, did what any of us would do after losing a loved one to a sudden illness. He conducted research. As stated in a 2009 article “Is NuvaRing Dangerous” Rob believes that his wife’s death was caused by her birth control method, the NuvaRing. Rob retained an attorney to file a complaint against the ring’s manufacturers, Organon, and Schering-Plough, who are now a part of Merck.
Rob’s Story was published on MotherJones.com in 2009. At that time there were about 100 Federal Lawsuits pending against the manufacturers of NuvaRing. As of June 2011, there were about 900 lawsuits. The amount of clams increased by 9 times in two years. These lawsuits were filed by people who, like Rob, did some research. What about all of the people out there who did not think to research their medical mysteries? After all, aren’t blood clots a known risk of birth control. Are many victims simply believing that are within the small percentage of cases that these injuries do occur? Is there something special in NuvaRing that makes them more likely to suffer these potentially fatal side effects? If so, why isn’t there a warning?
For many, the warning came in May 2012 in the form of a decade long Danish study published in the British Medical Journal. The study revealed that women who use transdermal patches or vaginal rings have a 7.9 to 6.5 times increased risk of confirmed venous thrombosis compared with non-users of hormonal contraception.
NuvaRing uses a progestin similar to that used in many third-generation birth control pills. These third generation birth control pills carry the most risks for blood clots and strokes. While the manufactures say that NuvaRing contains a lower dose of hormones than most oral contraceptives, the body of a vaginal ring user may absorb more hormones than someone who is using a birth control pill.
At the time “Is NuvaRing Dangerous?” was published the product insert says there is no data on whether or not the way the hormones are absorbed is riskier than taking birth control pills. No data was available because Organon conducted no-premarket studies on that subject. Since the Danish study did find that NuvaRing users are at a higher risk for developing venous thrombosis, does that mean we will soon see a label change for NuvaRing?
In April 2012, the FDA Ordered a label change for the Yaz birth control pill. (This includes Yasmin and Ocella) The new label came as a response to the 10,000 lawsuits filed against the manufacturers for injuries sustained by users and warns that the fourth generation progestin, drospirenone may increase the patients risk for blood clots.
Several Studies on Yaz and Drospirenone have indicated the blood clots associated with the drug may be linked to an increased risk of stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism injuries to the lungs. The Danish study on NuvaRing compared the risks of NuvaRing with the risks associated with Fourth generation hormones such as Drosperenone, and stated both carry the similar elevated risks. In actuality, NuvaRing may be more dangerous than Yaz.
Between April 2002-September 2011, the FDA received 44,831 adverse event reports regarding Nuva Ring. During that time 1,827 women reported suffering a pulmonary embolism (P.E.), while 1,289 reported deep vein thrombosis (DVT) reports. The numbers are actually higher than the side effects reported for Yaz. For Yaz, the FDA received 1,773 reports of P.E. and1,159 reports of DVT during the past 10 years. Add in the other minor injuries, the FDA only received 2,392 adverse event reports for Yaz.
In April, Bayer announced they would pay out $110 million to settle some of the 10,000 Yaz claims.
If Bayer is taking Responsibility for their actions, shouldn’t Organon be taking responsibility for their NuvaRing negligence? Why are there barely 1,000 lawsuits for NuvaRing, when NuvaRing is reportedly more dangerous than Yaz?
Some women may have grounds for a NuvaRing Lawsuits and may not know it. Some women may not find out until it is too late. Very often the media doesn’t publicize drug litigation lawsuits until the manufacturer settles, and the State of Limitations is long passed.
Over 3,000 women suffered some form of venous thrombosis while taking NuvaRing. If you are one of them, our Nuva Ring lawyers are eager to evaluate your potential claim and help bring justice against Organon and Merck for their negligence.