Category: Hot Topics

Orth Evra Birth Control Patch Causing Serious Injuries and Death


Documents have surfaced showing that Ortho-McNeil, the manufacturer of the Ortho Evra birth-control patch and subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, refused in 2003 to fund a study comparing the Ortho patch to the company’s Ortho-Cyclen pill because there was too high of chance that the study may not produce a positive result for the patch. To read more click here. If you have been injured by the borth control patch, contact our Connecticut personal injury lawyers representing women injured by the Ortho Evra birth control patch.

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How Much Car Insurance Coverage Do You Need

Liability coverage is purchased to protect you if you get sued because of a car accident that you caused. This is perhaps the most important insurance you will buy, not only because it will prevent you from going bankrupt, but also because it is part of your responsibility as a driver of a what can be an instrument of destruction, a motor vehicle. How much insurance is enough? As much as you can afford, and get your insurance agent to quote you the difference to buy higher policies. And the amount of liability insurance you purchase is doubly important because it dictates the maxium amount of uninsured and underinsured coverage you can buy.

$100/300,000 policies are absolutely not enough and any policy which provides a split coverage, provides an illusion of more coverage than you actually get. A $100/300,000 policy only provides $100,000 available to settle any one persons injuries. $100,000 is about what the medical bills would be for one weeks hospitalization in a serious accident. Even accidents where people walk away from the wreck, often have values above $100,000. If a younger person suffers a neck or back injury which prevents them from returning to their current employment, the damages will almost always exceed $100,000. If a 20 year old person’s income is reduced even $2 an hour as a result of injuries, the loss of earning capacity over such person’s life will exceed $100,000. Damages in motor vehicle accident cases also include physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, the loss of enjoyment of life’s activities and any permanent partial impairment or disability resulting from the injury sustained.

Minimun liability limits in Connecticut are $20,000 per person, $40,000 per event.  The minimum coverage is grossly inadequate.  It fails to protect your assets in the the event that you negligently cause an accident which results in personal injuries to another.  It also fails to cover you for injuries you have suffered from an uninsured or underinsured driver.

It is our recommendation that you purchase a single limit $500,000 liability coverage and to also explore getting a $1,000,000 umbrella policy.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Connecticut law requires everyone to have insurance, the legislature has mandated that every insurance policy which is sold in Connecticut include protection against accidents caused by uninsured motorists. Such coverage is called “uninsured motorist coverage”. Connecticut law mandates that such insurance must be equal to the amount of liability coverage (a minimum of 20/40,000), however you can purchase up to two times the liability coverage. This coverage is extremely important because it protects you against being damaged, by what are often the worst drivers on the road, including many drivers who don’t have insurance because there driving licenses have been revoked or suspended.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Even more important than “uninsured motorist coverage” is underinsured motorist coverage. Where uninsured, protects you from the driver who doesn’t have any insurance, underinsured protects you from someone who doesn’t have enough.

We recommend that you purchase a single limit $500,000 of both uninsured and underinsured coverage and to also explore getting a $1,000,000 of both on an umbrella policy.

Adequate auto insurance coverage is vital.  We have seen far too many personal injury cases where a seriously injured person is under compensated because there is a lack of available insurance coverage. 

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Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch

Ortho Evra is the first transdermal (skin) patch approved for birth control. The weekly prescription patch releases norelgestromin (a progestin hormone), and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen hormone), through the skin into the blood stream to prevent pregnancy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ortho Evra, manufactured by Ortho McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in November 2001.

Ortho Evra, an alternative to birth control pills, is a one-and-three-quarter inch square patch consisting of three layers. The hormones are embedded in the adhesive layer and are slowly released when the patch is applied to the skin.

According to the FDA, women who choose to use the product should apply it to the lower abdomen, buttocks or upper body but not to the breasts. Each patch should be worn continuously for one week and should then be replaced with a new patch on the same day of the week for a total of three weeks of patch wear.

The fourth week, which is patch-free, allows a woman to have her menstrual period – similar to the regimen for birth control pills.

Like birth control pills, Ortho Evra is effective for prevention of pregnancy when used as directed. The risks of using this product are similar to the risks of using birth control pills including an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. The labeling also carries the warning that cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from use of combination hormonal contraceptives.

In April 2004, an 18-year-old New York fashion student died while using the Ortho Evra patch. According to officials for the FDA and Ortho McNeil, the death is the first linked to the contraceptive patch. Information from the Medical Examiner’s Office indicates Zakiya Kennedy’s death was caused by a blood clot.

In November 2005, Ortho McNeil issued a warning to millions of women revealing that the patch exposes them to significant amounts of estrogen and may put them at greater risk of developing blood clots.

Based on an internal company memo, Ortho McNeil refused to fund a study which would have compared the Ortho Evra patch to the company’s Ortho-Cyclen birth control pill. The company was afraid that the results of such a study may not be positive for the patch. However, the company now states that it plans to conduct a study for the patch, similar to studies previously conducted with the Pill. The Ortho Evra website states that prior to marketing the patch, it had been studied on over 3,000 women.

See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems after using the Ortho Evra patch. In addition, it may be important to contact us to determine your legal rights.

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Trasylol May Increase Risk of Kidney Failure, Heart Failure and Stroke

Trasylol® is a drug manufactured and distributed by Bayer and used during coronary artery bypass grafting surgery often called a “CABG” procedure. It is used to control bleeding and minimize the need for blood transfusions. Recent studies suggest that Trasylol® causes, among other things, an increase in the risk of serious kidney damage, resulting in dialysis or even death.On January 26, 2006 a study done by Dennis Mangano, MD and published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that Trasylol® was associated with a doubling in risk of kidney failure requiring dialysis among patients undergoing complex coronary artery surgery or primary surgery. The study also concluded that replacing Trasylol® with one of two safe generic drugs would annually prevent as many as 11,050 dialysis complications, save $1 billion in healthcare (dialysis) costs, and reduce drug costs by $250 million. Another study published in the journal Transfusion also suggested that Trasylol® administration increased the risk for renal dysfunction or failure.

In February 2006, Bayer issued a “Dear Dr. Letter” to U.S. Healthcare Professionals notifying them of the results of the two studies and of the review of the studies by the FDA. Bayer specifically stated, “Bayer supports these actions by the FDA. We have been working and will continue to work closely with the FDA and other regulatory authorities in countries where Trasylol® is marketed to address questions regarding product safety. We share the company’s data on Trasylol® with regulatory authorities on an ongoing basis and welcome their evaluation of these published reports.”

In its Stockholders’ Newsletter First Quarter 2006, Bayer acknowledged that two separate studies reported a possible link between the use of Trasylol® and severe renal dysfunction or cardiovascular or cerebrovascular problems in patients treated with this drug. Bayer further stated that the studies were being evaluated by the FDA and the EMEA.

On September 21, 2006, the FDA held a public meeting of the Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee to discuss the safety and overall risk-benefit profile for Trasylol®. During that meeting, the committee discussed the findings from the two published observational studies.

Then, on September 27, 2006, the FDA learned of another study actually conducted by Bayer. The newly discovered studies reported that use of Trasylol® may increase the chance for death, serious kidney damage, congestive heart failure and strokes. On September 29, 2006, the FDA announced that Bayer had failed to reveal the results of the study. Consequently, the FDA released a public health advisory stating that the undisclosed study demonstrated the “use of Trasylol® may increase the chance for death, serious kidney damage, congestive heart failure and strokes.”

Contact us if you believe you have suffered kidney failure, heart failure or stroke after receiving Trasylol.

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