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Countrywide Misadministration of Birth Control Medications

Errors in prescribing and distributing medication may be potentially deadly. Our Illinois personal injury attorneys are aware of the latent dangers attributed to the misadministration of medication, and read with great concern that a number of oral contraceptive (“birth control”) pills have been recalled from the market because of packaging errors. These mistakes carry the possibility of not only incorrect dosing and resulting adverse effects, but may also lead to unintended pregnancies as well.

A medical error giving rise to a potential Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit is defined as a preventable mistake in care, whether or not its effects are outwardly harmful to the patient. However, negligent behavior on behalf of the distributor of the drug may lead to adverse effects such as injury, unexpected effects, infections, and sometimes death. Errors in administrating medication, mistakes filling medication prescriptions, and the failure to properly advise patients on proper use of the medication all fall within the scope of medical malpractice.

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, the company responsible for the misadministration of the pills, is an American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, whose more than 600 brands of medications are distributed to all parts of the United States.

Qualitest is recalling multiple lots of oral contraceptives because of packaging errors that caused the weekly tablet orientation to be reversed, and obscured the lot number and expiration date on certain packages. The recall affects birth control manufactured under the brands Cyclafem, Emoquette, Gildess, Orsythia, Previfem, and Tri-Previfem.

According to a spokesperson on behalf of the drug manufacturer, “the source of the error is currently under investigation, and the company is committed to rectifying the issue in a timely manner.” Nevertheless, since many of the medication packages have already been disseminated to consumers, this may not be enough to rectify the damage.

The factory error resulted in pills being in the wrong places inside the plastic packages. If women take the pills as they are laid out inside the container, they may be getting the wrong pills during the month, leaving them without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancies.

According to the Institute of Medicine, reports indicate that in the United States alone, between 400,000 and 1.2 million medication administration errors led to deaths between 1996 and 2006 across the country. When a medication error occurs, the effects can be potentially devastating to both victims of the misadministration and their families.

Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have represented numerous clients in claims arising from the misadministration of medication, including a recent $650,000 settlement against a Chicago-area doctor, medical group, and pharmacy for adverse effects based on medication error.

Because these errors can lead to serious medical complications requiring further medical treatment, or even the possibility of death, it is imperative that victims understand their rights in order to receive reasonable and fair compensation for their injuries or loss. An attorney may be the best person to advise you of your rights.