A Medical Device Daily

Three North Texas women have filed lawsuits against the makers of the Ortho Evra birth control patch after doctors diagnosed the women with severe blood clots and other life-threatening complications.

The lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas say the drug's maker, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical (Raritan, New Jersey), a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey), should be held responsible for manufacturing and selling a dangerous drug.

The women, all in their 30s, live in Dallas, Euless and Garland, Texas. All three required hospitalization as a result of their medical problems, which include blood clots and pulmonary embolism.

Even though none of the women had a history of blood clots before taking Ortho Evra, all three have been told by doctors that they must take blood-thinning drugs to prevent future blood clots. One of the women's doctors has determined that she will be required to take blood thinners for the rest of her life.

“This is a major medical problem affecting women everywhere,“ says John David Hart of the Law Offices of John David Hart in Fort Worth, who represents many women who have used the Ortho Evra patch. “The patch doesn't discriminate; it can endanger your life no matter your income, your ethnic background or your level of education.“

Ortho Evra is an adhesive patch that prevents pregnancy by delivering the hormones estrogen and progestin through the skin. In September 2006, the FDA approved new label information for Ortho Evra after a study showed that women using the patch were twice as likely to experience blood clots as those who used a traditional contraceptive pill. The FDA has called for additional testing.

In other legalities: MedCom USA (Scottsdale, Arizona), which provides healthcare and financial transaction solutions for electronically processing HIPAA compliant transactions within the healthcare industry, reported that its new Chicago subsidiary, Card Activation Technologies , through its law firm, Orum & Roth, LLC has initiated a lawsuit against Sears Holding Corp. for infringing its payment transaction patent.

The action follows initial suits filed against McDonald's and Walgreen.

Bill Bednarski, COO of MedCom USA, said, “Orum & Roth, LLC continues to solicit license agreements on our behalf from those many companies that have been utilizing our patented payment transaction technology. Orum & Roth, LLC is continuing to contact other entities, including retailers and product suppliers, to provide them with a licensing agreement that will permit them to practice the patented technology. They have presently sent out over 120 letters to different entities in various industry areas notifying them of our patented technology and offering them an opportunity to license our intellectual property.“

As previously reported, MedCom USA intends to spin off the payment transaction technology into a separate publicly traded company. Under the current plan, shareholders will receive, as a dividend, a share in the new entity for each share of MedCom USA, they own on the record date of Dec. 15. Additionally, as reported on Sept. 18, MedCom said it will retain a “substantial interest“ in the new company, Card Activation Technologies.