Of the 177 women who took contraceptive pills made by the manufacturers of Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, 113 still got pregnant with 94 of these women deciding to deliver their child. Qualitest and its manufacturers committed the mistake of having the pills packed in a reversed order, causing the women who used them to take placebo pills during the week instead of the hormone pills.
Due to damages, which include loss of income, medical expenses and cost of raising a child to age 18 (these children being born from unplanned pregnancies), Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., and other companies which either made or distributed the pills under different brand names, now face lawsuits that can amount to millions of dollars.
The contraceptives, sold under the brand names Tri-Previfem, Previfem, Orsythia, Gildess, Emoquette and Cyclafem, each had 28 days’ worth of pills; 21 of these pills contained hormones that are supposed to prevent pregnancy, while the other seven are placebos. The pills should be taken in order – this means not mixing the placebos with the active pills.
It was found out by a US District Judge, however, that of the half-million packs of pills that were recalled, about 53 packs had the order of the pills reversed. The recalls, which were made in September 2011 by Qualitest, included eight birth-control pills brands.
The head of the National Women’s Health Network knows that the lawsuit filed by the affected women will be a tough battle to fight (part of this is proving that they got pregnant due to the packaging mistake). She believes, though, that it should be the duty of the company, which made the mistake, to do the right thing, which is to compensate those who suffered damages and losses.