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Unwanted pregnancies prompt lawsuit against pill manufacturer

Many pregnancy-related medical errors negatively affect the unborn child or the mother during pregnancy or delivery. However, mistakes regarding women’s health and pregnancy can also occur when a pregnancy isn’t planned. In a recent case, a lawsuit involving 113 women in 28 states was filed after the women alleged a defective batch of birth control pills led to their pregnancies. In a large lawsuit such as this one, it is possible that Massachusetts residents were also affected, even if they did not take part in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia against Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, a company that manufactures generic drugs. Prior to the case, the company had issued a voluntary recall in 2011. Due to a packaging mistake, some of the tablets in the blister pack had been oriented incorrectly, which could cause women to take a sugar pill at the wrong time of the month. If the placebo is taken in place of a hormone pill, pregnancy can occur.

The women involved in the lawsuit claim that the company packaged and sold “defective and dangerously designed” oral contraceptives, causing many of them hardship due to unwanted pregnancies. Some are demanding the full cost of raising a child to adulthood, including education, as compensation.

The company has rebutted by claiming the mistake occurred more than four years ago, that the recall was voluntary and that it involved only a small number of pill packs. Earlier lawsuits against the company based on the recall did not succeed. Whether or not the current lawsuit rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the case shows how those who have been affected by a medication or pregnancy error may seek compensation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Women Sue Birth Control Company, Claiming They Got Pregnant From Mislabeled Pills," Kim Bellware, Nov. 12, 2015

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