Alysena-28 class-action suit approved after birth control pills recalled

An Alberta court has agreed to hear a class-action lawsuit brought by women who claim to have become pregnant due to defective birth control pills.

Specific batches of Alysena-28 had insufficient number of active tablets, resulted in pregnancies

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has certified a class action lawsuit on behalf of Canadian women who got pregnant while taking birth control pills. An error in packaging meant women taking Alysena-28 for about five months in 2012 and 2013 were getting an ineffective combination of pills.

An Alberta court has agreed to hear a class-action lawsuit brought by women who claim to have become pregnant due to defective birth control pills.

The women claim that certain packages of Alysena-28 contained an insufficient number of active tablets, resulting in unwanted pregnancies despite being used as directed.

The suit covers specific lots of the prescription birth control pills packaged in Spain by Laboratorios León Farma SA and sold in pharmacies across Canada between Nov. 19, 2012, and April 15, 2013, until they were withdrawn from the market

León Farma denies any wrongdoing, but lawyer Tony Merchant is determined to make the company pay. 

"It wasn't a made-in-Canada mistake, but it was a mistake visited upon us alone," he said. 

Apotex, the Canadian distributor of Alysena, recalled several lots of birth control pills as a precautionary measure in 2013.

There were concerns the packages may have contained two weeks of placebo sugar pills instead of one — an error that could raise the possibility of unplanned pregnancy.

At least 40 women affected

"Fourteen active, 14 placebo — this caused many people taking Alysena-28 to get pregnant," Merchant said, adding at least 40 women were affected, but that number could be much more.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench will also hear from the biological fathers of children born to the women, according to a statement from Trilogy Class Action Services, the court-appointed administrator.

Merchant says compensation could be anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 for both the mothers and fathers.

Women who didn't get pregnant, but were put at a high risk of getting pregnant, are expected to get a smaller settlement.

Anyone who may be affected by the suit can obtain additional information on this website.