Thousands of Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella lawsuits are pending against the pharmaceutical company Bayer. With all the negative attention the company has received over their birth control product line, Bayer has yet to cease its contraceptive production and marketing.
Instead, Bayer has taken the same controversial ingredients used in Yaz and Yasmin, added folic acid, packaged them in a new container with a new name, and released them to the U.S. market with immediate FDA approval. The new pill, Beyaz, was released in October 2010 in U.S. and international markets.
The FDA approved Yasmin in 2001 and Yaz gained approval in 2006, according to a Medical News Today article. In 2009, there were already 74 cases filed against Bayer. The plaintiffs claim they were not adequately warned about the significantly higher risk of blood clots, strokes, gallbladder disease, and conditions that could result in death.
The FDA warned Bayer in October 2008 to stop running misleading and false advertisements. The ads claimed that Yaz could be used to ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The warnings from the FDA further claimed that Bayer’s advertisements “downplayed serious risks associated with the drug,” the article noted.
In August of 2009, the FDA warned Bayer to make improvements in quality control standards at their German manufacturing facility. The warning letter said “methods used by the facility to calculate variability in ingredients did not meet U.S. standards.” The FDA seems to have forgotten about these issues and decided to cooperate with Bayer to continue pushing Yaz and similar birth control pills even while the number of lawsuits against the company increases daily.
Health Express Staff Writer. (October 18, 2010) “New Yasmin contraceptive developed.” Retrieved on November 4, 2010 from Health Express.
Heff, Tammy. (September 28, 2009) “Yaz in the News.” Retrieved on September 28, 2009 from Happenings on the Hill.
Medical News Today Staff Writer. (September 29, 2009) “Criticism of Popular Oral Contraceptive Yaz Could Harm Product’s Appeal, New York Times Reports.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from Medical News Today.