This is from a while ago, but I never saw it. Did you?
Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson has spent at least $68.7 million to settle hundreds of lawsuits filed by women who suffered blood clots, heart attacks or strokes after using the company's Ortho Evra birth-control patch, court records show.

J&J, the world's largest maker of health-care products, avoided trials through the confidential settlements and hasn't released the financial details to investors.
Huh. feminists?


Anonymous said...

I don't think this is a "feminist" issue. All new medications have risks and drug companies are never very open about them (see: Vioxx). And the pill also carries increased risk of blood clots, although I don't know if the risks are higher, or the cases more frequent with the patch. Regardless, I don't see why this is anything other an a drug development issue - do you see it differently?

CMinor said...

I'd heard of a few cases of such side effects but hadn't followed up on how they'd been settled. Must be "confidential" settlements, all right.

I'd say it's a feminist issue to the extent that the less pleasant aspects of contraceptive drugs specifically tend to be glossed over in the prescribing. I think that at least part of this has to do with the attitude that these drugs are "necessary" to women to "protect them" because they can't or won't control their own sexual behavior or learn to identify their own fertility cycles. I think we're seeing some of the same attitude towards the HPV innoculation, which is being foisted on young girls whether they need it or not. There are several deaths (and plenty of nasty side effects) that have occurred shortly after administration of the vaccine; the manufacturer, of course, insists that the vaccine had nothing to do with them.

I was recently researching levonorgestrel (Plan B, Norplant, and some others) on drug info sites recently and lost track of how many sites included the assurance that the drug is not an abortifacient (the official promotion site seemed to repeat it on every page.) It is, of course, as part of its action is to interfere with implantation--I managed to find a U Maryland site that acknowledged this.

So the question remains: if abortion is somehow okay because it's legal, and if an early embryo isn't a person anyway because it doesn't look like you and me, why the need to convince women they are't really aborting when they use these chemical concoctions? Is the assumption that we can't take responsibility for our medical decisions, or that we're really gullible?

Zach said...

anon: I think it's a feminist issue because feminists have typically concerned themselves with preventing violence against women. This patch clearly does violence against women, and they are strangely silent. Why?