We may never be 100 percent certain just how many women have died from conditions related to the effects of Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella. While it may prove impossible to gauge a precise figure, at least 50 out of 4,000 plaintiffs are families that have suffered the loss of their mother, sister, or daughter after having been prescribed one of Bayer’s popular birth control pills.
A CBS Business Net article published in June of 2009 reports on an early suit filed against Bayer over a death allegedly caused by Yaz. The 2009 suit states, “Defendants have been warned at least three times by the FDA; in 2003, 2008 and 2009, for misleading the public through the use of ads which overstate the efficacy of YAZ and/or its predecessor Yasmin, and minimize serious risks associated with the drug.”
Another CBS article in July of 2009 reports on the number of deaths through 2008. A lawsuit filed during that time states, “In fact, in less than a five-year period, from the first quarter of 2004 through the third quarter of 2008, over 50 reports of death among users of Yasmin and Yaz have been filed with the FDA,” the article quoted.
A more recent article published in the Elon University Pedulum in November 2010 reports on the case of Michelle Pfleger, a freshman at Elon, who died on September 24, 2010 while taking Yaz. Pfleger’s mother, Joan Cummins, has filed suit against Bayer. She claims that Yaz caused the clots that led to her daughter’s death. Pfleger was prescribed Yaz for acne, although one of the listed “common side effects” of Yaz is an increase in acne.
The Pendulum reports, “The day before she died, Pfleger had been treated with an analgesic by a physician due to a knee injury. Cummins said it was a normal injury, which raised questions about where the clots came from.” Cummins and her lawyers agree that the clots most likely came from Yaz. Now it is up to the courts to decide.
Baldas, Tresa. (July 14, 2009) “Bayer Sued Over Safety of Popular Birth Control Pills.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from Law.com.
Dodson, Jack. (November 4, 2010) “Pfleger’s mother plans to sue contraceptive company Yaz.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from the Elon University Pendulum.
Edwards, Jim. (July 14, 2009) “Suits Claim Bayer’s Yaz Caused 50 Deaths; Novel Theory of Blood Clot Causation.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from the CBS Business Network.