Huge Birth Control Pill Recall Hurts Women

birth control pillsBe forewarned: The makers of your birth control pills and you may have a very different idea of what makes for an "immediate health issue." A pharmaceutical company based in Alabama, Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, has issued a voluntary nationwide recall for "multiple lots" of birth control pills, due to what it described as a systemic "packaging error." Sounds kinda horrifying, right? But they're telling women not to worry too much, since there's no real risk of an "immediate health issue" ... except "unintended pregnancies." Um, what?? How are those two things not one in the same? Sheesh!

We're not talking a little "ooops!" here either. The recall involves 1.4 million packages that have been distributed to pharmacists and customers since LAST year! The recall affects the following birth control pill brands: Cyclafem 7/7/7, Cyclafem 1/35, Emoquette, Gildess FE 1.5/30, Gildess FE 1/20, Orsythia, Previfem, and Tri-Previfem.

How in the world did this happen?


According to a statement from the company, "Select blisters (found inside the pill box) were rotated 180 degrees within the card, reversing the weekly tablet orientation."

As a result, the pills' lot number, as well as the expiration date, were left "no longer visible." In turn, the daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may have been incorrect and could have left women without adequate contraception and at risk for unwanted pregnancy.

Women on Qualitest's products should be outraged. When you're on birth control pills, you're putting a certain amount of trust in the company that produces them. You have pretty much no choice but to assume they have quality control processes that might prevent something like a "packaging error" from occurring in the first place.

Qualitest can apologize 'til the cows come home, but if you were a woman who got pregnant while taking your pills as prescribed, I wouldn't blame you for taking legal action. (In fact, who knows ... a class action suit might be in the works now!) The bottom line is that an "error" of this magnitude is simply unacceptable.

If you're a customer of any of these pills, you can get further information on the Qualitest recall site

What do you think about this recall?


Image via Daniel Oines/Flickr

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