You hope that when you use a medical device, it will improve the quality of your life. Unfortunately, since 2008, medical devices have caused more than 80,000 deaths. When medical devices fail, it can lead to tragic consequences, and this was the case with the Nuvaring.
Nuvaring has achieved worldwide prescription levels of one and a half million women who use this device for birth control. However, the device comes with potential dangers. The Nuvaring contains a hormone called etonogestrel, which greatly increases a woman’s risk of blood clots. The device can also cause other potentially harmful side effects.
Dangerous Side Effects
According to the law firm of Pintas & Mullins, Nuvaring is just one of many medical devices that have been responsible for lawsuits. There are many potentially dangerous medical devices on the market that have caused harm to consumers. Source: https://www.pintas.com/defective-medical-device-lawyer/. Nuvaring comes with a host of dangerous side effects that include:
- Heart attack
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
A flood of over 3,800 lawsuits alleged that users had suffered serious harm from taking Nuvaring. In 2014, Nuvaring agreed to settle for $100 million out of court over its birth control implants.
What Users Experienced
Typically, the plaintiffs in these lawsuits against Merck suffered serious side effects, including strokes, blood clots, heart attacks, and deep vein thrombosis. In extreme cases, death occurred.
Nuvaring is presented as an easy-to-use product because you don’t have to dose yourself daily. However, you have many cases of improper placement, improper insertion, expulsion, and some cases of mechanical problems. Some of the minor side effects of Nuvaring include leukorrhea, headaches, nausea, and vaginitis. You can treat these side effects relatively easily.
Hospital records have often cited Nuvaring as the cause of complications in different patients. People have to understand how using Nuvaring can increase your risk of health complications. Anyone at a high risk of health complications should avoid using this product.
Failure to Warn the Public
People have filed lawsuits against Merck & Co., the manufacturers behind Nuvaring because they failed to warn the public about the dangers. This pharmaceutical giant acted carelessly in its sales marketing. Instead of addressing the dangerous complications, the company tried to emphasize its minor side effects, such as headaches, breast tenderness, and nausea.
In some cases, loved ones died because of Nuvaring, which prompted family members to file wrongful death cases. In 2013, Merck & Co. added a warning label to its box to warn its consumers about the increased risk of blood clots.
The FDA Questions Its Safety
Before approving Nuvaring in 2001, the FDA questioned its safety. One review showed them how users could be at an increased risk for venous thromboembolism. Dr. Daniel Davis, the medical officer who wrote a report to the FDA, said that when they approve this product, the company should give an adequate warning of the risk of VTE.
Unfortunately, the FDA later decided that Merck & Co. didn’t have to add the warning, which resulted in many people getting hurt. Daughters and wives died from using this product.
What the Settlement Meant
When Merck & Co. settled for $100 million, they precluded themselves from future lawsuits, which may have cost them more. You could try to sue separately, but the odds are not in your favor. If the judge slaps down your lawsuit, you would receive nothing for your troubles. A class-action lawsuit typically doesn’t pay as well because you split the settlement among everyone who suffered harm.
Since Merck changed its box to include the label, this can make filing a lawsuit against the company difficult. The better warning label means that women know what they will be getting themselves into and accept the risks.
While many products end up being recalled after a major lawsuit, that was not the case with Nuvaring. This item remains on the market today, and sales are still strong. The main reason for this is that the problem wasn’t really about a poor product, but about unsafe marketing. When it comes to medications, no drug is entirely safe for everyone. Risks exist even in over the counter pain medications and cough syrups.
While there are risks with Nuvaring, they are not much higher than those of birth control pills, which millions of women have taken for decades. The main danger, and the reason that the lawsuit was won against Merck, had to do with misleading the public. With women who were potentially in the high-risk category for the side effects of Nuvaring using this form of contraceptive, many more suffered than would have otherwise.
Many would consider the risks that come with this contraceptive option to be too high. However, others feel that the difference between the dangers posed by the ring and those of the pill are small enough that they would rather use this product. They figure it is worth not having to worry about taking the pill every day to protect against pregnancy.
Awareness Is Everything
Whenever thinking about taking any medication, you should thoroughly research it and talk it over with your doctor. There should have been a warning label about blood clots on the packaging of Nuvaring when it first went on the market. Even with the warning label left off, though, the information was still out there. A careful researcher could have discovered that the risks of blood clots in Nuvaring exist and avoided the product.
Doctors are also often aware of potential complications that may not be on the label of products. By discussing medications before taking them, a competent physician can let you know what products might not be right for you.
There will always be products on the market that try to minimize their risks to health and safety. The best way to protect you and your loved ones is through independent research. The internet may contain a lot of nonsense. However, if you learn where to look, you will find it also contains innumerable amounts of useful information. We live in the information age, and knowledge is power.