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NuvaRing Lawsuits Allege Patients Suffered Severe Side Effects

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Dallas, TXAlthough concerns about NuvaRing side effects may not be as well known as those about Yaz, Yasmin or other contraceptives, NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed alleging women who use the birth control are at risk of serious side effects. NuvaRing birth control is alleged to have caused injuries such as venous thromboembolism and strokes in otherwise healthy women.

Approximately 900 federal lawsuits are in multidistrict litigation in the eastern district of Missouri, with an additional 100 in New Jersey in state multidistrict litigation. So far, no bellwether trials have been set up, although lawyers are trying to schedule the first bellwether cases.

NuvaRing is a birth control vaginal ring and was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001. Plaintiffs in lawsuits against Merck, maker of the NuvaRing, allege the contraceptive is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism and strokes compared with other forms of birth control. Furthermore, plaintiffs allege Merck did not adequately design or manufacture NuvaRing and that the drugmaker downplayed the risks of venous thromboembolism associated with the contraceptive.

That risk could be quite high. According to a study published May 10, 2012, in the British Medical Journal, women who used vaginal rings for contraception had 6.5 times the risk of venous thrombosis compared with non-users of hormonal contraception, equal to approximately 7.8 more per 10,000 exposure years.

Because NuvaRing has been on the market since 2002, women may have suffered serious injury a decade ago. This does not mean that they cannot join a lawsuit against Merck, however. Although the statute of limitations in many states is two years (the statute of limitations varies from state to state), it is possible that women may have been harmed by NuvaRing but not realized the NuvaRing was the cause of the injury. In such cases, the statute of limitations could start running from the moment when the plaintiff first knew or should have known that the NuvaRing may have caused the injury.

In other words, even if it has been a few years since a patient suffered venous thromboembolism after using NuvaRing, there is still a possibility that patient could be included in a lawsuit.

Some lawsuits filed against other birth control makers have resulted in settlements while other lawsuits work their way through the court system. So far, no settlements have been announced in NuvaRing litigation.


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