Over 100 Women Seek Justice in Wake of 2011 Birth Control Recall

More than 100 women from 28 states have filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia this month, seeking millions of dollars in damages, suffering, lost wages, and child-rearing costs. Of the women who believed they were protected from pregnancy involved in the lawsuit, 94 gave birth, 17 suffered complications or did not carry their pregnancies to term and two others did not become pregnant.

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, the source of the defective birth control, issued a recall of eight separate birth control brands due to a packaging error, according to the press release issued by the company in 2011. The court documents detailing the lawsuit suggest that the women took the birth control as directed, however, the packaging was faulty, reversing the orientation of the pills. This put the order of the pills out of sequence so that the women took placebo pills on days that they should have been taking active ones, according to court documents.

The recall involved roughly 3.2 million birth control packs. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release at the time of the 2011 recall, stating, “These packaging defects do not pose any immediate health risks.” The lawsuit could result in millions for the women who unknowingly used the defective birth control packs. In some states, like Oregon, retribution in these cases even involves college tuition payments by defendants.

Putting your trust in consumer products, especially medications, appears to have become a risk in America today. Product recalls by companies are increasing, and one must wonder about the focus many companies are investing into quality control. A lawsuit filed by over 100 women may not put a very significant dent in the bottom line of a pharmaceutical company, and their reputation may only be tainted for a very minimal amount of time. How many even remember this 2011 recall?

woman holding birth control pillsPackaging errors or not, birth control pills offer a wide variety of side effects, including migraines, blood clots, and even an increased risk for cancer. Of course, the benefit of preventing unwanted pregnancy is an important one, but there are a few natural alternatives to birth control pills that you can explore.

The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) and Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) have been found to be the most effective natural alternatives to birth control pills and other birth control devices, according to research. FAM involves tracking the menstrual cycle to determine fertile and infertile days. STM tracks the base body temperature and cervical secretions daily in order to track times of the month you may be more susceptible to pregnancy.

A study published in Human Reproduction (2007) examined the efficacy of FAM and STM in approximately 900 female participants over the period of 13 cycles. Researchers concluded that 1.8 in 100 female participants “experienced an unexpected pregnancy.” If you are weary of birth control pills, or if you have unbearable side effects from them, doing a bit of research on alternative ways to track your fertility may be an excellent option.

Do you trust the vital health products you purchase?

—Stephen Seifert

Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.



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