On its popular Today Show program, NBC News announced this morning that it has uncovered internal documents from drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson that prove the company knew the Ortho Evra birth control patch was dangerous. According to the documents, NBC reports that Johnson & Johnson knew the Ortho Evra patch was 12 times more likely to cause strokes and 18 times more likely to cause blood clots than traditional birth control pills.
NBC also has obtained the resignation letter of a Johnson & Johnson vice president from 2005. In the letter, he says the company ignored “compelling evidence” he had uncovered that the patch contained dangerously high levels of estrogen. As a result, he says in the letter, he did not feel he could continue in his role as VP for the company.
More than 500 Ortho Evra lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer to date, on behalf of women who suffered blood clots, strokes and other serious side effects while using the birth control patch.
NBC said Johnson & Johnson representatives refused to comment on the new findings on camera, and said it could not answer any questions about the Ortho Evra patch due to “ongoing litigation.” However, the company fell back on the fact that the patch is FDA-approved.
Health safety groups have petitioned the FDA to pull the drug from the market, but it is still available to consumers.