A pharmaceutical company has been hit with a class action lawsuit after allegedly distributing mis-labeled birth control pills back in 2011. The suit claims this error led to unwanted pregnancies for 113 women.
The group of women, who are from 28 different states, have sued Qualitest Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Endo Pharmaceuticals), claiming that the company sold birth control pills that were packaged in the wrong order. They say this caused them to take placebo sugar pills at the wrong time of the month, leaving them vulnerable to pregnancy without their knowledge.
Court documents filed in April 2014 state that the pill order was "rotated 180 degrees within the card, reversing the weekly tablet orientation." Now, the women are claiming millions in damages, and in some cases the costs of raising children.
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The most common types of birth control pills contain hormones to prevent an egg from releasing each month. When taken correctly, they are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy.
The packs contain three weeks of "active" pills and a week's worth of placebo sugar pills that don't contain any hormones, during which menstruation occurs for most women. Missing just two or more hormone pills in a row puts you at risk for possible pregnancy if you're not using another form of contraception at the time.
The lawsuit comes four years after Endo Pharmaceuticals issued a voluntary recall of an "extremely small number" of pill packs, Heather Zoumas Lubeski, a spokesperson for the company, explained in a statement to Health. (The court docs state that 3.2 million packs were recalled. And CNN reported that the recall affected 8 different brands of pills. )
Lebeski added that Endo Pharmaceuticals has only been able to confirm one defected pack that was ever actually sold to a patient. She also stressed that "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."