NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed by users of the product against Merck & Co. alleging Merck did not adequately warn users about the risk of using the NuvaRing. Serious side-effects of the NuvaRing can include stroke, heart attack, blood clots, vision problems, and high blood pressure.
The NuvaRing, first introduced by Organon BioSciences into the United States market in 2002, created a new and easy way for women to protect themselves against an unwanted pregnancy. For the first time, a woman did not have to worry about taking birth control pills each day but, instead, could simply insert a flexible, plastic ring into her vaginal canal and leave it in place for three weeks. Throughout the month the NuvaRing would release estonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol to prohibit ovulation. Unfortunately, some users of NuvaRing developed severe side-effects from its use. Some of the most serious complications which occurred included blood clotting, which caused blockage of lung arteries (pulmonary embolism), death of heart tissue (myocardial infarction), and death of brain cells (thrombotic stroke).
In 2012, a study released by the British Medical Journal reported users of vaginal rings had a 6.5% increase risk of developing venous blood clots. Other researchers produced similar results arguing that using a vaginal ring could “significantly heightened a user’s risk of myocardial infarction and thrombotic stroke.”
Merck & Co., Inc. is one of the largest American pharmaceutical companies in the world. Headquartered, as of 2015, in Kenilworth, New Jersey, Merck & Company was founded in 1668 in Germany and later, in 1891, established as an American subsidiary. Since World War II the company has been an independent American company. Merck & Co. established itself as a leading pharmaceutical company by producing a variety of products including ground breaking vaccines, thiazide diuretics, statins, antibacterial medications, Vioxx, which is used to treat arthritis, Fosamax, which is used to treat post-menopausal osteoporosis, and NuvaRing, which is a birth control ring.
As of 2013, there have been approximately 1,500 lawsuits filed against Merck & Co. for injuries associated with the NuvaRing. Users have filed lawsuits arguing they have suffered blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, or venous thromboembolism (VTE) after using NuvaRing. According to users, Merck & Co. did not adequately warn them about the risk associated with the NuvaRing.
Manufacturers have the responsibility to produce, market, and sell products which are safe for their intended use. They also have the responsibility to adequately warn users of the potential hazards of using their products. NuvaRing lawsuits have been on the rise since 2008, when close to six hundred suits were consolidated into multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court -Eastern District of Missouri. Now there are more than a thousand pending lawsuits throughout the United States.
Plaintiffs in the NuvaRing cases argue Merck not only failed to adequately test the NuvaRing before manufacturing it, but they also knew about the risks associated with their product and failed to provide adequate warnings to the public.