(May 17, 2012) – More cases against Bayer AG, Germany’s largest drugmaker, manufacturer of Yaz and Yasmin, have begun to settle. There are currently 651 cases, which have settled, at least 50 of which resulted in death. According to the article in the Bloomberg News, Bayer officials agreed to pay each case an average of approximately $218,000 for allegations that Yasmin and Yaz caused these women to suffer blood clots, at times leading to fatal heart attacks or strokes.
Thousands more cases are awaiting trial or settlement. On April 10, 2012, safety-labeling changes were approved by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). The label warns that women who use birth control pills with drospirenone (DRSP), like Yaz, may have a higher risk of getting a blood clot. As it states on the FDA website, “some studies reported that the risk of blood clots was higher for women who use birth control pills that contain DRSP than for women who use birth control pills that do not contain DRSP.”
According to some studies, drugs containing this synthetic hormone, DRSP, present a threefold increased risk of increased blood clots as compared to products with other hormones. The FDA required the changes to appear on the labels of these drugs to notify users of the risks.
Blood clots that develop in larger, deeper veins are called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and can lead to serious, life-threatening complications. Use of Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills have an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot that can travel to the lungs, causing death.
In 2009, regulators found that Bayer’s advertising campaigns overstated Yaz’ other health benefits in patients, such as acne remedies and beneficial for improving moods in depressed patients. The FDA and attorneys general of 27 states forced the company to change their ads, correcting the misleading marketing claims. The company agreed to spend at least $20 million on new advertisements, in addition to submitting all new Yaz ads to be federally screened for the following six years.
It seems that this big pharmaceutical company cares about one thing: profit. They lied to the public about the benefits of these dangerous birth control pills. Do you think this is fair? Corporate profits over consumer safety.