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Birth Control Pill Packaging Errors Keep Getting You Pregnant

Back in my day, women took birth control pills and the pills worked and they didn't get pregnant. Simple, right? So what is going on lately in the birth control pill industry that is causing various lots of pills to be recalled every few months? Oddly enough, it seems like the pills themselves are usually fine, but there continue to be errors in packaging that put women at risk of accidentally getting pregnant.

As I noted here in September 2011, a company called Qualitest Pharmaceuticals had to urgently recall certain lots of its birth control pills because the pills were distributed in a package in which the blister packaging was rotated 180 degrees within the card. This error had the effect of reversing the weekly tablet orientation, meaning that the "daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may be incorrect and could leave women without adequate contraception." D'oh!!

Recently, two more birth control pill makers had to recall certain lots of their pills, again because of packaging issues. On Jan. 31, 2012, Pfizer Inc. announced that it was voluntarily recalling lots of Lo/Ovral®-28 Tablets and Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets because "some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence." 

That was followed shortly thereafter, on Feb. 24, 2012, by an announcement by Glenmark Generics Inc. that it, too, was recalling certain lots of pills because of a "packaging error, where select blisters were rotated 180 degrees within the card, reversing the weekly tablet orientation. ..." Again with the upside down blister packaging? Damn!

The flurry of packaging errors has not been lost on plaintiffs lawyers. Last week, at least one law firm announced that it was now "investigating unintended pregnancies due to Glenmark’s recall of birth control pills due to defective packaging." An attorney from the firm stated that “[i]t is hard to believe that Glenmark did not have proper quality control safeguards in the drug manufacturing and packaging process. Women could be compensated for unintended pregnancies which could include expenses related to raising the child, emotional distress, medical expenses and loss of earnings during and after the pregnancy.”

Posted by Bruce Carton on March 8, 2012 at 04:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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