A new birth control pill was released in 2006, claiming to do much more than just prevent pregnancy. Yaz quickly became popular for its ‘added benefits’ of treating acne and some symptoms of PMS. Before that a similar drug called Yasmin, also became popular as a result. Yaz and Yasmin are made by Bayer, while Ocella (a generic version of Yaz) is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, the spike in sales of these drugs was not without problems. Shortly after the release of Yaz, women began to complain of serious side effects, ranging from blood clots to heart attacks.
Bayer Exaggerated Benefits Such as Acne Treatment
The number of lawsuits against Bayer was so great that multidistrict litigation had to be used to handle the huge volume of claims. In 2008, the FDA voted to update the warnings on Yaz labels to include their most serious warning symbol, the black-box. Currently, the black-box warning appears on all Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella packaging. It states the risk of heart related side effects associated with the drugs. However, prior to this updated labeling, plaintiffs claim that the serious risks associated with the drugs were severely downplayed while benefits, such as the ability to reduce acne, were highly exaggerated.
There have been about 100 deaths and thousands of injuries linked to the use of Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella. In fact, according to a 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal, users of these drugs are twice as likely to develop blood clots than those who use other birth control pills.
Common Serious Side-Effects Linked to Yaz
According to Bayer, as of March 2014 it had settled 8,250 cases for $1.7 billion. More cases are being filed in state and federal courts nationwide. Multiple injuries have been reported, including:
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heart Attack
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Gallbladder disease
- Sudden death
The serious side effects associated with Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella are linked to a new type of synthetic progesterone (the active hormone in most birth control pills). The synthetic hormone can result in a rise in potassium levels, which may lead to heart conditions and other health problems.
Bayer has been heavily criticized for not warning doctors and patients of the risks involved with taking their drug. The FDA has complained that Bayer exaggerated the effectiveness of Yaz and Yasmin to treat acne and PMS symptoms. In addition, the FDA has made even more serious accusations, saying that Bayer’s use of audio and visual effects in Yaz commercials incorporated rapid scene changes and background music to distract viewers from the important warnings included in the commercials.
The Goldwater Law Firm – Nationwide Drug Injury Attorneys
Despite a link to thousands of injuries and 100 deaths, Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella remain on the market. If you or a loved one has been injured by any of these drugs, contact the Goldwater Law Firm. We have extensive experience with drug injury cases, and we can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.