Many women use oral contraceptives as a part of their regular health care regimen. Naturally, these women expect their birth control pills to be safe to use. However, a number of popular oral contraceptives have been linked to serious medical complications, including blood clots, heart attack, and even death. Yasmin, a popular brand of birth control pill manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, is one such drug. Fortunately, women who have suffered medical problems as a result of the pill may file a Yasmin lawsuit in order to receive compensation for their injuries.
Q: What is Yasmin?
Yasmin is a pill commonly used for birth control as well as treating acne. Yasmin combines ethinyl estradiol (synthetic estrogen) with progestin drospirenone – a man-made hormone designed to minimize side effects. Unfortunately, drospireonone has been linked to several major medical issues.
Q: What was the problem with the Yasmin advertisements?
In advertising Yasmin, Bayer claimed that drospirenone is better suited for a woman’s body than other forms of birth control. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reprimanded Yasmin for making misleading claims, concluding there weren’t enough facts to prove that drospirenone is beneficial. Further, the FDA found that drospirenone can pose a dangerous risk to women.
In addition, FDA accused Bayer of misleadingly characterizing an actual safety risk of Yasmin as a clinical benefit. In advertising materials, Bayer stated that drospirenone “may increase potassium.” While that may seem like a health benefit, it actually poses a safety risk since an increase in potassium can cause a number of health problems. As a result, Bayer has been accused of essentially minimizing Yasmin’s health risks.
Q: Why does Yasmin carry an FDA “boxed warning”?
A boxed warning, also known as a black box warning, is an alert found on the packages of certain pharmaceuticals. A boxed warning is the FDA’s strongest warning, intended to alert consumers of particularly harmful side effects. The FDA requires Bayer to place a boxed warning on Yasmin packaging stating that female smokers 35-years-old and over should not use the product. The warning alerts women that the combination of cigarettes and birth control pills can increase the likelihood of serious cardiovascular complications.
Q: What are the serious complications linked to Yasmin?
An FDA study concluded that drospirenone carries a higher risk of blood clots than other birth control pills. Blood clots are very serious, as they can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and even death. Yasmin has been linked to several other serious complications arising from blood clots including:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – blood clot, usually in the lower leg or thigh, that causes pain and inflammation
- Pulmonary embolism – blood clot in the lungs, creating respiratory complications that can potentially lead to death
- Thrombotic stroke – blood clot in the brain that can cause stroke
- Coronary thrombosis – blood clot in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, potentially causing a heart attack
Q: Can I file a Yasmin lawsuit against Bayer?
Individuals injured by Yasmin may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Bayer has been hit with a number of these Yasmin lawsuits. Under product liability law, manufacturers and sellers have a duty to ensure that the products they place on the market are free of any unreasonable dangers or defects. To prove a product is defective, product liability allows for three theories: negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.
False advertising is another legal claim that may be brought. Most states have consumer protection laws allowing consumers to sue companies who use misleading or false statements to sell their products. For example, Yasmin users may be able to sue Bayer for implying that drospirenone made Yasmin more effective than other birth control brands. The FDA’s claims that the Yasmin advertisements were misleading and inaccurate may support this argument.
Lastly, a wrongful death suit may be a legal option for people who have lost a loved one to Yasmin complications. Under wrongful death laws, close relatives, like spouses and parents, can file suit on behalf of their deceased family member against the person or business responsible. The relatives may recover damages for the loss of the deceased family member financial support, any medical and funeral expenses, and the loss of consortium – the loss of companionship, affection, and comfort.
Q: Have any Yasmin lawsuits been filed?
There have been many Yasmin lawsuits filed against Bayer. As of August 2013, Bayer has already spent $750 million in resolving approximately 3,490 of these Yasmin lawsuits. However, there are still thousands of pending cases.