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Half Dozen More Yaz, Yasmin Lawsuits Filed

Dec 17, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Young women and their families continue to file lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin.  This week alone, Bayer was named in six more Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits filed in federal court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

The latest Pennsylvania Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits allege fraud, civil conspiracy and commercial bribery. According to the Tribune Review, the complaints say Bayer made "false representations" that the contraceptives were "tested and found to be safe." Each of the six complaints seek a total of $150,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.

At least 150 such lawsuits have been filed against Bayer in the U.S.  On October 1, 2009, all Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits pending in federal court were consolidated for centralized and coordinated pre-trial proceedings in the Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before Judge Herndon (MDL No. 2100).

These popular birth control pills contain a synthetic type of progestin called drospirenone. Exposure to drospirenone can lead to hyperkalemia, a condition caused by excessive amounts of potassium in the blood, in high risk patients. This condition may result in potentially serious heart and health problems. Yasmin and Yaz side effects reported to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) include heart arrhythmias, electrolyte imbalance, hyponatremis, hyperkalemia, hyperkalemic arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, bradycardia, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemic attack, blood clots, embolisms, and sudden death. These adverse effects are mentioned almost in every Yaz lawsuit filed against Bayer

As we have reported previously, in October 2008, the FDA cited two Yaz commercials for deceptive claims. In a warning letter, the FDA faulted Bayer for overstating the benefits of Yaz, and downplayed serious side effects. Bayer ended up pulling the misleading ads. It also reached an agreement with the FDA and 27 state attorneys general to run new TV spots correcting the misinformation from the pulled commercials. They began running in early 2009.

Just this past August, the FDA warned Bayer about quality control at a German plant that makes drospirenone for Yaz.

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