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Merck Settles NuvaRing Injury Cases

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NuvaRing birth control has been linked to serious cardiovascular problems

The NuvaRing was supposed to revolutionize birth control.

NuvaRing is a flexible plastic ring that releases a dose of synthetic hormones. It is placed near the cervix. After three weeks, the vaginal ring is removed, and a new ring is inserted a week later.

Many women were told that NuvaRing was a safer alternative to traditional birth control pills. Oral contraceptives have been linked to dangerous blood clots and increase a woman’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

But Is NuvaRing Safe?

Several studies found that NuvaRing may be even more likely to cause blood clots than other forms of birth control. Thousands of NuvaRing users have suffered from a specific type of blood clot called venous thrombosis (VTE).

VTE refers to a blood clot that forms in a vein. When the clot forms in the leg, it can cause severe pain and swelling. If it breaks off and moves to the lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism. If the clot moves to the heart, it can cause a heart attack. If the clot reaches the brain, it may cause a stroke. Pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks, and strokes are potentially fatal.

  • As early as 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a research report documenting as much as a 56 percent increase in blood clot risk among NuvaRing users.
     
  • The following year, a Danish study published in the May 20, 2012 British Medical Journal found up to a 90 percent increased risk of blood clots in women using NuvaRing compared to women using traditional oral contraceptives.
     
  • In June 2014, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine linked the use of NuvaRing to as much as a 300 percent increase in blood clot risk.
     
  • As of 2013, the FDA had received more 5,000 reports of NuvaRing injuries, and more than 3,800 women have filed lawsuits against Merck, the maker of the drug.

What Did Merck Do About This?

In October 2013, Merck updated the package label to warn that women should stop using NuvaRing if a blood clot forms.

On February 7, 2014, Merck announced that the company would pay $100 million to women who say they were harmed by using the NuvaRing. But the company also said, “We stand behind the research that supported the approval of NuvaRing, and our continued work to monitor the safety of the medicine.”

If you have been hurt by a medical device, then it is important to know your rights before a class action settlement is reached. Please reach out to our experienced attorneys via this website to learn more.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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