Bayer May Have Misled Women About Health Risks Of Yasmin And YAZ Birth Control Pills
Drug Company Faces Over 10,000 Lawsuits As Of November 2011 Alleging Failure To Warn About Serious Side Effects
An article published November 21, 2011 by Bloomberg, “Bayer May Have Pitched Birth-Control Pill for Unapproved Use,” discusses the YAZ / Yasmin family of birth control pills and how the drugs’ manufacturer, Bayer, may have misled women about the health risks of these very popular birth control pills.
Various emails and internal company files that have been produced by Bayer in YAZ / Yasmin litigation show that the drug company marketed YAZ, which was a spinoff of Yasmin, to be a form of birth control which could be used by women to treat their run-of-the-mill premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The problem with this type of marketing, however, is that YAZ has only been approved by U.S regulators for treating a particular severe form of PMS.
The November 2011 Bloomberg article also states that Bayer now faces over 10,000 lawsuits for various serious side effects, including:
• Pulmonary embolism (PE);
• Deep vein thrombosis (DVT); and,
• Gallbladder disease requiring removal (cholecystectomy).
It is alleged in this massive number of lawsuits filed against Bayer that the drug manufacturer did not sufficiently warn women about the health risks of YAZ and Yasmin.
The safety of YAZ and Yasmin birth control pills have been questioned, and has been the focus of regulators, because the contraceptives contain the potentially dangerous hormone drospirenone (DRSP). In October 2011 an FDA study said there is a 74 percent greater likelihood for developing blood clots for women taking YAZ and Yasmin compared to women on lower-estrogen birth control pills.
Bayer’s contraceptives YAZ and Yasmin were their second biggest-selling drugs (coming after a multiple sclerosis medication), generating $1.58 billion in sales in 2010.
According to lawyers involved in the YAZ and Yasmin litigation, by not sufficiently warning about the dangers of these popular birth control pills, Bayer company officials have sacrificed the health of women in order to increase their own profits.
In the November 2011 Bloomberg article Bayer’s U.S.-based spokeswoman, Rose Talarico, claimed that YAZ and Yasmin oral contraceptives have been studied extensively throughout the world and have been proven “safe and effective when used as directed and according to product labeling.” Ms. Talarico, however, declined to comment on the over 10,000 filed lawsuits dealing with blood clots leading to heart attacks, strokes, PE's, and DVT's, as well as gallbladder problems, allegedly caused by YAZ and Yasmin.
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