Why Is Potentially Lethal Contraceptive NuvaRing Still on the Market?
Vanity Fair writer-at-large Marie Brenner investigates the birth-control device NuvaRing, which has allegedly caused blood clots in thousands of its users. As NuvaRing’s manufacturer, Merck, which made $623 million in NuvaRing sales in 2012, is facing roughly 3,500 lawsuits against it, Brenner asks why, despite evidence of serious risk, this potentially lethal contraceptive remains on the market.
Would a young woman use NuvaRing, Brenner asks, if she knew that the F.D.A. had determined that there was a 56 percent increased risk of blood clots when it was compared with birth-control pills using earlier forms of progestin? Karen Langhart, the mother of Erika Langhart, a 24-year-old who died of a pulmonary embolism on Thanksgiving Day 2011 after using NuvaRing for approximately four years, tells Brenner, “I want to warn every mother and every daughter: do not use the product that killed my child.”
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