RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Chile’s government distributed more than 276,000 defective birth control pills in 2020 to various family planning centers, resulting in at least 170 women becoming pregnant.
The problem detected by health professionals is related to two lots of Anulette CD, manufactured by Silesia, a subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal, with an expiration date in January 2022.
Months after the first pregnancy cases, in August 2020, the batches in question were taken off the market by health authorities in Chile. Still, many women had become pregnant, and many others failed to receive the warning, made only on Twitter.
In a country where many families do not have internet or television, the effect of this ‘mistake’ could have far greater consequences than advertised.
The Chilean group for Sexual and Reproductive Rights Corporación Miles believes that thousands of women believed they were protected and became pregnant. Only 170 women reported being victims of this ‘defect’.
Although it was a mistake made by the pharmaceutical company and assumed by the Government, which distributed the pills, neither Silesia nor the Chilean Executive is responsible for the consequences. Therefore, in a country like Chile, where abortion is forbidden, these women can only go to court with rare exceptions.
Corporación Miles’ representative stated that they are currently preparing a joint lawsuit against the state, calling for Justice. The group demands that these women be compensated and that the abortion law be updated.
Meanwhile, Chilean health authorities have already announced that the makers of Anulette have been fined and will pay some R$520,000 in fines.