At Least 100 Women are involved in a Lawsuit over Mislabeled Birth Control Packages
113 women have filed a joint lawsuit against Qualitest Pharmaceuticals over allegedly mislabeled birth control packages that for some have led to unwanted pregnancies. The women, who are from 28 states, are seeking millions in damages.
Those who got pregnant and have since given birth are reportedly asking for money to raise a child until adulthood. Philly.com reported that 94 of the pregnant women from 26 states carried their babies to full term.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, claimed that the Qualitest's birth control pills were ineffective because they were "rotated 180 degrees," which meant that the women were taking the pills and the placebo sugar pills in the wrong order. By taking the sugar pills, which are meant for the menstruation week, during the wrong time of the month, the women are claiming that they were left "without adequate contraception."
The lawsuit is also naming Vintage Pharmaceuticals LLC, Endo Health Solutions Inc., and Patheon Inc.
Birth control pills, which contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone, are effective at preventing pregnancies when they are taken according to the directions.
Endo Pharmaceuticals, which owns Qualitest, released this statement via ABC News:
"Our commitment is to patient safety and we take product quality very seriously. ... There is no new or recent product recall. The recall that forms the basis of this suit was entirely voluntary and occurred more than four years ago in September 2011. The voluntary recall occurred based on an extremely small number of pill packs that were manufactured by an external contract manufacturer. Endo has been able to confirm only one blister pack that manifested a defect and was sold to a patient. Additionally, courts have dismissed cases arising out of the recall because the plaintiff could not establish that she purchased a defective package."
The packaging mix up dates back to 2011 when the company announced a voluntary recall involving eight brands of birth control pills. Qualitest stated at the time that the not only were the pills order reversed, the pill's lot numbers and expiration dates on select packaged were hidden.