When Big Pharma is sued time and time again, where does the buck stop?

There are so many product recalls these days, some get lost in the shuffle. That doesn’t make them any less serious.

One recent example of a company virtually under siege with multiple product recalls is Johnson & Johnson. They produce a long list of items, from tens of millions of bottles of pediatric OTC medications to contact lenses and hip replacement devices. That’s a lot of things to keep track of and that may be why not many people are paying too much attention to the high risks associated with their Ortho-Evra birth control patch.

The patch is shaping up to be yet another dangerous product. Will it be recalled? That remains to be seen. But right now, it seems to be yet another notch in the rapidly tightening belt for Johnson & Johnson. At least two years ago, Johnson & Johnson shelled out close to $68 million in settlements for hundreds of lawsuits filed by women who suffered strokes, heart attacks or blood clots as a result of using the patch.

At the time, there were a lot of opponents that said the patch needed to be banned. Given its history to date, that might not be a bad idea. If you have had experience with this drug and suffered bad side effects, you may wish to talk to an Austin personal injury attorney.

The disturbing thing about past those cases and some recent ones is that existing court documents showed that Big Pharma Johnson & Johnson knew its product was 12 times as likely to cause strokes and 18 times more likely to cause blood clots than birth control pills. They knew and yet they still marketed it to millions of unsuspecting women.

In the midst of that debacle, a Johnson & Johnson vice president resigned. He noted the connection between the rising number of deaths and the fact that the women who died were using the patch. That wasn’t the end of their legal woes. There was also a lawsuit by a former worker who alleged he suffered retaliation in the workplace when he complained about the patch. These are issues an Austin personal injury attorney may handle, as well.

Fast forward to 2010 and yet another young woman has died as a result of using the patch. The burning question is if the Food and Drug Administration had acted sooner, would the young woman still be alive? Let’s take a look at the Johnson & Johnson labeling in 2006. It does say that high levels of estrogen are dispersed. But does it go further and spell out what that means? That is questionable. It appears that women may continue to die using this product.

What is Johnson & Johnson doing about that? They are continuing to sell their product to the tune of $1.6 billion dollars a year, despite the fact that there is no clear evidence that it works any better than birth control pills. The FDA says this situation is complex and it takes time to assess. What takes time to assess? Women are dying because of the patch.

It seems to be fairly clear. The kicker is women will keep on using the patch, because Johnson & Johnson sells baby products that everyone relies on, which translates into trust for their birth control patch; a trust that is turning out to be deadly. Don’t hesitate to take your concerns about this drug, if you are taking it, to an Austin personal injury attorney who will advise you on your legal rights.

Beverly Aylmer writes for Lee, Gober & Reyna. If you need an Austin personal injury lawyer, contact an Austin personal injury attorney from Lee, Gober & Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.