Yaz is a female birth control pill produced by Bayer. Women ingest Yaz tablets daily to prevent pregnancy. Yaz contains drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, a pharmaceutical combination that prevents an egg from fertilizing and sperm from reaching the uterus. Yaz can also be used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and moderate acne. While the drug was approved for use in 2006, recent studies and health warnings have linked Yaz to serious health problems. Consequently, thousands of women have initiated a Yaz lawsuit against Bayer.
Q: What injuries are associated with Yaz?
Many women have reported serious side effects after taking Yaz and its sister product Yasmin. These side effects are associated with any birth control pill containing drospirenone, such as Yaz. Side effects include increased risk of:
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heart problems
- Gallbladder disease
Increased risk of blood clots is one of the primary side effects associated with Yaz. While all birth control pills pose a risk of blood clots, recent studies have found that birth control pills such as Yaz increase that risk. After years of reviewing medical research on drospirenone-based birth control pills, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded in April 2012 that birth control pills such as Yaz produced a higher risk of blood clots than birth control pills containing a different drug, progestin. Serious medical complications can result. Health Canada, the Canadian public health agency, has linked Yaz and Yasmin to over 600 adverse reactions between 2007 and 2013, including 23 deaths.
Q: What has the government done about Yaz?
The FDA has been studying links between Yaz and health problems for years. In 2008, the FDA strengthened warnings appearing on Yaz’s label. This so-called “black box” warning – the most serious drug warning label – cautioned that using Yaz increases the risk of cardiovascular problems for women who smoke.
Multiple FDA safety alerts from 2010 to 2012 reported the potential link between drospirenone-based birth control pills and blood clots. The agency released a questions and answers page on this subject in September 2011. The FDA officially confirmed the link between Yaz and blood clots in April 2012.
The government has previously acted on Bayer’s advertisements for Yaz. In 2008, The FDA accused Bayer of airing misleading ads that exaggerated the benefits and downplayed the risks of Yaz. Under pressure from the FDA and many states, Bayer agreed to air $20 million worth of corrective advertisements. Despite continuous warnings and a growing number of studies linking Yaz to serious health problems, the FDA has not issued a recall so far.
Q: Can Bayer be sued?
Yes. Drug makers can be held liable when their products injure consumers. These companies have a duty to warn potential consumers of the side effects of using their particular drug. Consumers injured by a drug can file a lawsuit against the manufacturing company to receive compensation. This compensation can include medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages.
Unfortunately, many women have died after taking Yaz. Surviving family members may be able to bring wrongful death lawsuits on the victim’s behalf. This allows families to hold drug companies responsible even after the victim has passed on. Plaintiffs may also receive compensation for funeral expenses, loss of support, medical expenses, and loss of consortium.
Q: Have other people filed Yaz lawsuits?
Yes. Over ten thousand women have sued Bayer alleging injuries from taking Yaz and Yasmin. These women claim that Yaz has led to blood clots, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, strokes, and heart attacks. Some involve cases where women died as a result. Over 6,700 of these cases have settled so far, and Bayer has set aside nearly $1.5 billion to resolve them. Another 8,000 Yaz lawsuits allege serious gallbladder problems. Bayer has set aside another $25 million to resolve these suits.
Q: What can I do?
If you or a loved one has been injured from taking Yaz, contact an attorney to discuss your options. Due to the statute of limitations, timely action can be critical in filing a Yaz lawsuit.