Yaz Lawsuits Settled
Written by Faith Anderson on April 16, 2012
Fourth-Generation Combination Oral Contraceptives
Both Yaz and Yasmin are “fourth-generation” birth control pills manufactured by Bayer that contain drospirenone, a synthetic form of the hormone progestin, in combination with estrogen. Drospirenone was first introduced in Yasmin birth control by Berlex Laboratories, which was later acquired by Bayer. Yasmin was approved by the FDA in in 2001, and its updated version, Yaz, entered the market in 2006. Bayer recently introduced a third variation, marketed as Beyaz, which includes a folate supplement.
Yaz Studies Find Increased Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots
Several studies have indicated that women taking Yaz, Yasmin, or other drospirenone-containing contraceptives, may have an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and sudden death. The recent Bayer settlement came on the heels of an FDA announcement that Yaz and Yasmin would be required to include additional warnings on their labels concerning the increased risk of blood clots compared to other birth control pills. The revised labels will state that some studies report drospirenone-containing birth control pills may triple the risk of blood clots when compared to pills containing other progestins, but note that other studies found no increased risk. The labels will also include data from the FDA’s own study, which associated Yaz and Yasmin with a 1.5-fold increase in blood clot risk.
Bayer Faces Wave of Yaz Lawsuits
Since 2009, Bayer has faced a wave of litigation in courts across the United States involving Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills and the alleged increased risk of blood clots. Lawyers suing the drug firm cited FDA reports of at least 50 deaths associated with the drospirenone-containing birth control pills between 2004 and 2008. Earlier this year, the federal judge presiding over all lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts ordered Bayer and plaintiffs’ attorneys to engage in Yaz settlements negotiations before the Yaz cases are submitted to a jury.