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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Pill legal challenge dismissed
Woman
Thousands of women use the contraceptive pill
Three women from Wales who say their lives have been ruined by the contraceptive pill have lost their fight for damages in the High Court.

Karen Roberts, 39, from Denbigh, Andrea Massey, 25, from Wrexham, and Debra Jones, 31, from Aberdare, south Wales, were among more than 100 women demanding action after using the third-generation pill.

Contraceptive pills
The women claim third generation pills have side effects

They are suing three pharmaceutical companies, Schering Health Care Ltd, Organon Laboratories Ltd and John Wyeth and Brother Ltd.

The group began their case in March, claiming that the third generation pill caused problems including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and cerebral venous thrombosis.

The women argued that the pharmaceutical companies knew of their potentially life-threatening side-effects.

Karen Roberts suffered DVT in August 1995 after taking Femodene.

Legal submissions

The same drug was used by Andrea Massey, who had a stroke, and Debra Jones, who suffered a stroke following cerebral venous thrombosis.

Mr Justice Mackay announced the judgement on Monday morning following a three-month hearing.

During the case Lord Brennan QC said that some of the women were moderately injured but that others had suffered "disastrous" injury resulting in lifelong incapacity and some had died.

The women's lawyers presented the court with scientific estimates that healthy women not taking oral contraceptives had just a five in 100,000 chance of developing deep vein thrombosis.

It was claimed that the chances tripled to 15 in 100,000 when taking third generation pills.

The pharmaceutical companies involved in the cases always denied liability.


More news from north east Wales
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01 Oct 01 | Health
11 Jun 02 | Health
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