Over three thousand lawsuits have been brought against Bayer over the dangerous side effects of drospirenone, an ingredient unique to Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella birth control pills. Plaintiffs in the lawsuits claim that Bayer kept information about the danger of the drugs secret for years. A British Medical Journal study revealed a connection between Yasmin and venous thrombosis in 2002. Another study in 2003 revealed further connection between Yasmin and thromboembolism.
An article in the Flagler College Gargoyle reports on Michael Foote, a former sales consultant for Yaz contraceptives. Foote claims that he quit working for Bayer after seeing the television commercials listing a host of negative side effects, including blood clots. He said further that it became increasingly difficult to continue selling Yaz with the negative attention it has garnered over the past five years.
Bayer continues to operate as though the ingredients in Yaz and Yasmin are perfectly safe. The FDA has joined Bayer in effectively ignoring the claims of thousands of women and scientific data that the drugs are unsafe and can lead to stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and even death. In late September of 2010, the FDA approved Beyaz, a birth control pill identical to Yaz except for the addition of a B vitamin supplement.
The young women and their families and representatives have expressed outrage at the release of Beyaz while lawsuits against Bayer continue to mount. Time will tell how the new drug will fare and whether or not it will generate even further legal action.
Fulmer, Brenda. (September 27, 2010) “Bayer’s Beyaz — Cause for Shame, Not Celebration.” Retrieved on October 8, 2010 from the Injury Board Blog Network.
Young, Caroline. (October 3, 2010) “Women reveal perks and pains of birth control.” Retrieved on October 8, 2010 from the Flager College Gargoyle.