NuvaRing Side Effects and Science Information to be Presented to MDL Court

U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sipple, who is presiding over the consolidated Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) involving women who have filed a NuvaRing lawsuit alleging that blood-clot related injuries were caused by the contraceptive ring, has scheduled a “Science Day” for December 1, 2009.

During the Science Day, the court will hear presentations from the plaintiffs’ side and drug maker’s perspective to educate the court about the NuvaRing side effects alleged in the lawsuits, including what effect the combination of hormones contained in the vaginal ring has and whether it increases the risk of blood clots leading to potential deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

NuvaRing is a birth control device manufactured by Organon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which releases etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol through a ring that is inserted into the vagina once a month. The release of hormones is designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but plaintiffs allege that a side effect of NuvaRing increases the risk that women could suffer serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.

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NuvaRing Lawsuits

Side effects of NuvaRing may increase risk of blood clots, pumonary embolism, DVT, death. Lawsuits pending.

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More than 100 federal NuvaRing lawsuits, all involving similar allegations that plaintiffs suffered heart attacks, strokes, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or death after using the birth control ring, have been centralized before Judge Sipple in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

The complaints charge the manufacturer with failing to fully researching their product or adequately warn about the increased risk of blood clot injuries.

The NuvaRing Science Day will allow lead counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants to designate at least one attorney and experts to make a presentation of no more than two hours designed to educate the court on the background of the product and complex issues that will arise during the litigation. Judge Sipple has also indicated that the parties may record their presentations on a videotape or DVD for the Court’s future reference during the litigation.

“If a Science Day presenter later becomes a witness in the litigation, the presentation may not be used to cross-examine or impeach the presenter,” wrote Judge Sipple in an order issued July 22. “The presentations are intended solely to educate the court about the specific issues in the litigation and may not be used at any other time or for any purpose, except by the Court as it deems appropriate.”

The information presented will be limited to the NuvaRing, the types of injuries plaintiffs are claiming to have sustained, the correct terminology to be used in the case, and the device’s link to the formation of blood clots. The presentations are deemed confidential, will not be done under oath and will not contain information about specific Plaintiffs or cases involved in the NuvaRing litigation.

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