US women sue over birth control pills

  • 13/11/2015

More than 100 women who became pregnant after taking birth control pills that were mislabelled have filed suit in the US, seeking millions of dollars in damages and interest.

The suit was filed last week in Philadelphia against four pharmaceutical companies that sold the pills in packaging that mistakenly reversed the order in which they were to be taken, rendering them ineffective.

The packaging error left the women "without adequate compensation and at risk for unwanted pregnancy," the complaint charges.

Some of the women are demanding that the companies cover the total cost of their child's education through age 18, as well as medical expenses, lost salaries and pain and suffering resulting from the unintended pregnancies.

Damages sought by most of the women, however, are limited by their home states's laws to medical expenses, lost salaries and pain and suffering.

Of the women involved in the case, 93 gave birth, 17 did not carry their pregnancies to term, and two others never became pregnant, their lawyer Keith Bodoh said.

The four companies named in the suit are Vintage, Qualitest, Endo and Canadian-based Pantheon who sold the pills under eight different brand names.

In September 2011, Qualitest, a subsidiary of Endo, voluntarily recalled multiple lots of the pills, citing the packaging error and warning it could leave women at risk for an unwanted pregnancy, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Initially, the group had sought class action status for the suit, but when the request was denied by a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia their lawyers opted to file suit in Philadelphia, Endo's home base.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.