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Merck agrees to $100 million NuvaRing settlement

It is the responsibility of drug manufacturing companies to thoroughly determine the risks and side effects of drugs that they put out on the market. Providing insufficient warning or failing to pull defective drugs from the market can result in product liability lawsuits against the company. As for the consumers, they might suffer from serious health diseases, such as heart and circulatory ailments.

After a string of lawsuits regarding the heart health risks of the NuvaRing contraceptive, drugmaker Merck & Co. has finally agreed to pay $100 million to settle product liability lawsuits involving NuvaRing. 

According to complaints, Merck did not emphasize NuvaRing’s blood clot risks to its users. This ended up being quite dangerous for those using the contraceptive device, as blood clots can lead to heart attacks and other serious ailments, including death.

Merck – the second largest drugmaker in the U.S. -- still denies having any fault in the matter. This settlement is not an admittance of guilt on behalf of Merck.

However, for this settlement to be approved, of the roughly 3,800 people involved in pending NuvaRing-related lawsuits, 95 percent must accept the terms of the settlement.

Nevertheless, for those who have suffered due to this contraceptive device, the $100 million settlement is likely good news. Not only could this payout end up helping with medical bills, but it also sends the message that lawsuits can be filed – and settlements can be reached – against drug manufacturers who are accused of putting dangerous products on the market.  

For those in New York who have been the victim of a dangerous or defective product, there are legal actions that can be taken. In some cases, this can end up leading to compensation. Regardless of whether the manufacturer is a big name, like Merck, or a smaller, lesser known company, it is important to know what options may be out there. 

Source: Reuters, “Merck to pay $100 million in NuvaRing contraceptive settlement,” Ransdell Pierson and Jessica Dye, Feb. 7, 2014

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