Last week, leading pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced the recall of one million packets of oral contraceptive birth control pills. According to Pfizer, a "packaging error" resulted in these packets containing insufficient hormone to prevent pregnancy. Women who have been taking the birth control affected by the recall have been advised to immediately begin using a non-hormonal contraceptive, to return the defective drugs to their pharmacists, and to see their doctors for a pregnancy test. If use of the defective birth control pills has resulted in an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, local women may wish to consult an Oklahoma pharmaceutical litigation lawyer or a class action lawyer in Oklahoma City.
About the Pfizer Birth Control Recall
Pfizer, Inc. recalled fourteen lots of Lo/Ovral-28 and fourteen lots of its generic form, Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol, after it was discovered that packaging error led to placebo pills being interspersed with active pills. Lo/Ovral-28, like many other popular oral contraceptive pills, uses three weeks of active pills and one week of placebo pills. The placebo pills, which are to be taken at the beginning of a woman's menstrual cycle, were improperly placed in the packaging. Women taking the affected packets may have taken these pills out of order, resulting in a lack of hormonal protection against conception during ovulation.
The placebo pills are generally a different color than the active pills. The packaging error was discovered when one observant woman contacted her doctor after noticing a colored pill in the middle of her packet. Pfizer says the mistake is due to both a manufacturing error and a failure in the visual inspection.
The affected pills are manufactured by Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, and marketed by Akrimax Rx Products and Akrimax Pharmaceuticals. Exact lot numbers can be found on the birth control recall press release on the FDA website.
What Are the Legal Implications of the Pfizer Birth Control Recall?
If a woman becomes pregnant after using the inadequate birth control, she may be able to successfully pursue pharmaceutical litigation. Generally, cases involving dangerous or defective drugs are litigated in a class action lawsuit, in which a group of people suffering ill effects as a result of taking these drugs bring suit together to accomplish receipt of compensation.
Birth control litigation in the past has taken the form of class action lawsuits against contraceptives that have caused significant health risks, including a higher risk of blood clots. Yaz and Yasmin, created by Bayer AG, have been subject to civil litigation and to strict labeling requirements.
There have also been significant lawsuits arising out of unplanned pregnancies. These include medical malpractice suits against surgeons who improperly performed vasectomies and civil litigation against a pharmacy that improperly filled a birth control prescription.
Oklahoma women are urged to check the lot numbers of their birth control against the lot numbers recalled by Pfizer. If they are affected by the recall, they should immediately contact a physician to find out if they are pregnant. If taking the improperly packaged birth control resulted in an unplanned pregnancy, a woman should consult an Oklahoma City class action lawyer or a pharmaceutical litigation attorney in Oklahoma for an evaluation of her case and to see if any legal remedies are available.