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Additional Birth Control Recalls Could Lead to More Illinois Product Liability Lawsuits

Recently, our Chicago personal injury attorneys expressed concern over a recall of contraceptive pharmaceuticals that were pulled from the market because mistakes in packaging could potentially lead to unwanted pregnancies.

According to the Associated Press this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is busy again with yet another recall of birth control pills. According to the report, Glenmark Generics is working with the FDA to recall seven lots of birth control drugs, nationwide. Said the FDA, because of a packaging error, some of the pills were placed in the wrong order within the packs.

The packages of pills contain three types of tablets, each variety with a different level of hormones, intended to be taken at different times during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Instead, according to the FDA’s statement the pills were rotated 180 degrees within the pack, so the weekly tablet orientation is reversed, and the lot number and expiration date are visible only on the outer pouch. As a result, the order of the pills may be incorrect, leaving women without adequate contraceptive protection and at risk for unwanted pregnancy.

The Associated Press reported that the error was discovered when a consumer complained she received a pack in which the tablets were packaged in reverse order. In the affected pill packages, the pills should be arranged so that the top row contains seven white to off-white tablets, and the bottom row contains seven inactive, light green tablets.

Glenmark Generics Inc., the company responsible for manufacturing the drugs is the North American division of Glenmark Generics Ltd., and is dedicated to the manufacture, marketing and distribution of generic pharmaceutical products. Currently Glenmark Generics, Inc. is authorized to distribute approximately 55 generic forms of brand-name pharmaceuticals.

Under Illinois law, Chicago personal injury lawsuits arise when manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and others who manufacture and disseminate goods to the public are held responsible for the injuries caused by those products. “Products” in this instance covers a wide range of categories, including medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

As it pertains to this case, Illinois products liability law dictates that when corporations manufacture a product, especially in cases of pharmaceutical production, they have a responsibility to test that product to ensure its safety and effectiveness before the product is put on the market and sold to consumers. This is especially true for companies that produce medicine, and whose products must undergo extensive testing before they are distributed to consumers. When a company makes a product that is flawed and that product harms the person using the product, the company may be held legally responsible for the customer’s injuries.

In this particular case, Glenmark Generics had a duty to ensure that their drugs were packaged properly. If a consumer has an unwanted pregnancy, Glenmark Generics may made to pay a wide variety of damages, including such things as medical and hospital expenses, and potentially even damages resulting from the infliction of emotional distress.

The affected pills are labeled “norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets,” and any pack for which the lot number and expiry date is not visible is subject to recall. If you or a loved one has taken these contraceptives and experienced an unwanted pregnancy, contact an attorney to understand your rights under the law.