Erika Langhart was planning to make a difference in the world. She was never given that chance.
At just 24 years old Erika was struck down by a massive, double pulmonary embolism (blood clots that had traveled to her lungs), as a direct result (per her pulmonologist) of the NuvaRing. Investigative journalist, Marie Brenner, wrote an in-depth report (“Danger in the Ring”) for Vanity Fair magazine about Erika and her classmate at American University, and Olympic Athlete, Megan Henry regarding the dangers of this drug.
CNN Anderson Cooper 360 was subsequently inspired to air a special report: Families, lawsuits, raise questions about NuvaRing.
It is our greatest hope, with what remains of our lives, to fulfill our daughter’s goal of making a difference in the lives of others by helping to inform women about the dangers of not only the NuvaRing; but all hormonal contraceptive drugs – the pill, patch, ring and implants. We believe women deserve to be informed of the full truth about these powerful drugs.
Erika Langhart’s Case for Wrongful Death was dismissed on September 10, 2015 because we refused to settle with Merck. We never agreed to anything other than having her case heard in front of a jury for the purpose of exposing the truth about the NuvaRing and Merck. Following is our statement read to the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Francisco, NuvaRing Products Case #CGC-12-520371.
We were promised that Erika’s case would be filed in the state of Virginia, via the rocket docket, for a jury trial by the end of 2012.
We can only imagine the outcome had this promise been kept. We believe the truth about this drug, and Merck, would have been exposed through this trial and hundreds of women’s lives since 2012 would have been saved. We now have the very dubious honor of being friends with the parents of many of the young women who, unnecessarily, lost their lives to this drug. We hope you try to imagine what that is like for a moment…we can assure you there is nothing more painful to endure than losing a child to, what we view, as murder.
How you were able to convince/coerce the FDA into changing the NuvaRing label to a WEAKER label in October of 2013, all while more and more reports of injury and deaths were being filed with the FDA’s own MedWatch is stunning…and disgusting. Of course by doing so, you have effectively shut down all legal avenues for women who have been injured or who have lost their lives to this drug…
So, Congratulations!…however, we believe Justice will eventually reach you.
May God have Mercy on your souls for allowing, and helping, these tragedies to continue. You are putting money and profits before the very lives of innocent young women – we do not know how you sleep at night…as, we believe, you will certainly, eventually, meet your deserved justice on your own judgment day.
How you are able to defend Merck, and other members of these legal (and we use this word loosely) drug cartel corporations, is beyond us and perhaps you would do well do pay heed to the words of Dr. Benjamin Rush – a signer of the constitution and George Washington’s physician….
“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship…To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a republic. The Constitution of this republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.” – Benjamin Rush, MD.
You are, in our opinion, facilitating the dangerous, and by principle un-Constitutional, Medical Industrial Complex through your actions…which is unnecessarily taking the lives of an untold number of American citizens, all in the name of Greed.
Merck’s “official statement” in response to being questioned about the danger of the NuvaRing follows:
“Blood clots have long been known as a risk associated with combined hormonal contraceptives. The FDA approved patient information and physician package labeling for NuvaRing include this information. We remain confident in the safety and efficacy profile of the NuvaRing – which is supported by extensive scientific research – and will continue to always act in the best interest of patients,” as published in Vanity Fair.
A more truthful statement of risk might read something like this: (our additions to their statement are in bold)
“Blood clots have long been known as a risk associated with combined hormonal contraceptives”.
We cannot explain, except by pure greed, why these drugs continue to be given to women when there are safe and effective alternatives for Birth Control available.
“The FDA approved patient and physician package labeling for the NuvaRing include this information”,
as negotiated by our highly paid consultant, and former FDA administrator of the Women’s Health division, Dr. Susan Allen, for the benefit of Merck.
“We remain confident in the safety and efficacy profile of the NuvaRing – which is supported by extensive scientific research” –
Paid for by us with expected outcomes supportive of future profits from the NuvaRing but ignores the independent, unbiased, extensive scientific research conducted by Dr. Lidegaard which does not support future profits for Merck from the NuvaRing –
“and will continue to always act in the best interest of patients”,
which we have to admit is a lie as evidenced by our track record with many of our other drugs such as Vioxx.
Congratulations on the continued growth of Merck profits for the NuvaRing at the expense of women’s lives; $723 million last year (K-10 report), alone, achieved in conjunction with the injury and death of hundreds, if not thousands, more women who are apparently just “acceptable risk factors” to Merck.
A $100 million dollar settlement was really a bargain for you to keep these kinds of sales going – the settlement even helped increase sales for Merck! Unbelievable, and criminal, in our opinion.
These words have been spoken in honor and memory of our beloved daughter Erika and the thousands of other young women who have unnecessarily been injured, or have had their lives taken, by Merck’s drug – The NuvaRing.
We would like to note that the judge in this case said that he was truly sorry and could not imagine this kind of loss of life.
Readers may be interested in viewing a short video by Dr. Peter Gotzsche regarding Big Pharma operations.
Real Risk Study: Birth Control and Blood Clots
This story is one of a series about women who have developed blood clots while using hormonal contraception. These articles are part of the Real Risk Study: Birth Control and Blood Clots, a research project to help women gauge their actual risk with hormonal birth control. For more information, or to participate click here.
Great article Karen!