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NuvaRing® is a birth control product approved by the FDA for use in the United States in October 2001. It is marketed, labeled and sold in the United States by the Organon USA Inc., a New Jersey corporation with its principal place of business in Roseland, New Jersey and Organon International, Inc., headquartered in the Netherlands. Its parent company, Schering-Plough Corp., is located in Kenilworth New Jersey. NuvaRing® releases two synthetic hormones, etonogestral (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) into a woman's body through placement of the contraceptive ring into the vagina. The product is intended to prevent ovulation and minimize sperm penetration.
The complaints filed allege that the plaintiffs suffered damages attendant to the use of this contraceptive. The complaints allege that the use of this drug carries a potential for blood clots due to the extremely high amounts of hormones released. This can lead to death, the breakdown of tissue and organs necessitating, in some cases, amputation, heart attacks and ischemic strokes. At least one New Jersey case alleges the death of a woman in her early thirties due to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). On August 22, 2008, the federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) consolidated the cases pending in the federal courts under MDL No. 1964 and assigned them to the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to be handled by Judge Rodney W. Sippel.
On March 10, 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court designated all pending and future NuvaRing® cases as a mass tort and assigned them for centralized management in Bergen County by Judge Jonathan N. Harris.