Ortho Evra maker and pharmacies sued by nine in St. Clair County

Ann Knef Nov. 12, 2007, 2:44am

Users of the birth control patch Ortho Evra filed suit against its manufacturer and several pharmacies in St. Clair County Circuit Court Nov. 1 claiming the product caused them to suffer from pulmonary emboli, venous thromboembolism and other severe injuries.

In the suit, residents from Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas and New York allege defendants Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Johnson and Johnson, American Drug Stores, Osco Drug, Walgreen, B&D Pharmacy and Rite Aid negligently designed, developed, manufactured, tested, packaged, promoted, advertised, marketed and distributed the patch.

Ortho Evra is a norelgestromin/ethinyl transdermal contraceptive.

"Defendants negligently and improperly failed to perform sufficient tests, if any, on women using and/or wearing the Patch during clinical trials, forcing Plaintiffs and their physicians, hospitals and the United States Food and Drug Administration to rely on safety information that applies to an oral contraceptive agent...," the complaint states.

According to the complaint, the defendants should have known that the intake of hormones in the patch would result in a "much higher" level, approximately 60 percent, than the levels associated with intake through the oral route of birth control pills.

Plaintiffs include Latoya Robinson and her husband Anthony Robinson of Wisconsin; Angela Gourley of Kansas; Keisha Lewis, Felicia Reed, and Kim Musskipf and her husband Keith Musskopf of Illinois; and Felicia Williams and her husband Ayinde Williams of New York.

They claim the defendants, which also include Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development and R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, improperly relied on safety and risk infromation derived from studies of contraceptive pills.

Plaintiffs are represented by Seth Sharrock Webb of Brown & Crouppen in St. Louis.

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