The dangers of artificial birth control aren’t often discussed. I think it’s important info to get out for women. Actually, it is getting out, but only slowly.
Brenner interviews Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer bringing lawsuits against Merck. Shkolnik tells Brenner that Organon (the Dutch pharmaceutical company that created the device) launched into NuvaRing’s marketing with a scientist’s research study that had examined only 16 women using NuvaRing. That study, No. 34218, on the release of hormones in different birth-control delivery systems, was so outrageous, Shkolnik tells Brenner, that he felt it justified focusing his entire legal career on drug cases. Shkolnik tells Brenner that the summary prepared by Organon for the F.D.A. was attached to thousands of pages of backup, in which were buried the risks associated with blood clots. “This is a standard subterfuge used by Pharma,” he says. “You bury your bad news in one of 500 studies you have done on ease of use or lipid disorder. Then when the F.D.A. comes back to the drug company, the drug company can say, ‘You had it in your documents.’ If it isn’t in the 30-page summary, the F.D.A. is so understaffed it will never be noticed.”