According to Albany Star, birth control failure for 100 women prompted them to file a lawsuit against the packaging company, Qualitest (a subsidiary of Endo). In 2011, the company issued a large-scale voluntary recall because a blister packaging error led to the weekly tablet orientation being reversed — this means that the hormones women should have been taking in week 1 were replaced, instead, with the blank pills of week 4 that are meant to allow menstruation to occur. Consequently, 113 women became pregnant, and 94 went on to have babies.
It Won?t be a Class Action Suit
The women originally wanted to have a class action lawsuit since they were spread across 28 states in the U.S. However, a federal judge said that a class action suit was not appropriate for this case given that it was only a small percentage of overall packs that had the label issue.
For this reason, the lawyers in the case decided to refile the motion in Pennsylvania, since that?s the location of the pharmaceutical company?s headquarters. The women are suing for physical suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, and damages to economic welfare.
Complication: Birth Control Not Foolproof
Prior cases have come against Endo Pharmaceuticals for this problem have been dismissed because women couldn?t prove they got the mislabeled packs; one of the difficult aspects of the case is that birth control only promises 99% accuracy at the most, meaning that a very small percentage of women will get pregnant — especially with imperfect usage. Endo currently claims that they only have proof that a single packet made its way to a consumer before the recall.
What This Means for Track and Trace Pharmaceutical
Luckily, cases like this are exceedingly rare; carded blister packaging is an automated manufacturing process, removing much of the risk of human error that would frequently lead to this type of mistake. As a consumer, though, you should keep your own best interests in mind — if you ever receive a medication that looks different than what you?ve received in previous visits, then it might be a good time to call up your doctor and make sure that your pharma packaging is accurate.
For now, the cases will move forward against Endo, though the final outcome remains unknown. It is possible that the company will decide to settle out of court in order to avoid future lawyer fees.
Have you heard of any track and trace pharmaceutical issues like this?