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Stay Away From the Birth Control Patch!

Earlier this month, I warned you about an avalanche of lawsuits filed in recent years against four drugs -- one of them being Johnson and Johnson's birth control patch Ortho Evra -- a huge reason a warning, issued yesterday by the FDA, concerning an elevated risk of blood clots in a woman's legs and lungs was way, way overdue.

The FDA claims the warning was issued based on the results of a single study that found women using the patch doubled their risks of blood clots compared to those taking the pill, with, perhaps, six out of 10,000 being at risk.

Those paltry numbers are embarrassingly low, however, compared to previous news reports, including ones by the Associated Press in which the rate in which patients suffer from blood clots or die is actually three times higher than taking the pill. In 2004 alone, a dozen deaths were linked to the patch and many more to strokes and clots.

Even more damning is Johnson and Johnson's recent second quarter filing that reports the company faces 500 lawsuits due to deaths and injuries caused by the Ortho Evra patch (only on the consumer market since 2002). Unlike Merck's ridiculous legal strategy of fighting Vioxx publicly and one case at a time, however, Johnson and Johnson has already settled a dozen lawsuits privately and approached attorneys representing other plaintiffs.

Sounds like Johnson and Johnson is quietly doing damage control to keep women in the dark about a product they should never use, particularly when there are safer birth control alternatives available.

OpEdNews.com September 20, 2006

Yahoo News September 20, 2006

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