Getting the word out about the effects that Yaz and Yasmin have on worsening blood clots in their users is difficult. One of the hardest parts of trying to gain compensation for damages caused by medications is the lack of a voice in many of the patients. Most aren’t people with many ties, or some kind of political muscle. Most are quiet, ordinary people who don’t want to sue anyone and who haven’t the slightest clue how to get the word out. In these cases, it can be a relief to have a champion, someone with a high profile who is willing to carry the standard. In the case of Yaz, such star power has finally arrived.

Broadway actress Brenda Hamilton, an understudy in the long-lived and popular play Wicked, has filed a lawsuit against Bayer. In short, her suit claims that taking Yaz lead directly to a stroke she suffered in May of 2007. Furthermore, she alleges that Bayer knew that older-generation medications were both sufficient and safer than Yaz, but withheld information about it from both patients and doctors while aggressively advertising its new medications.

“I’m pretty angry that this happened to me,” Hamilton said in an interview. “I was 27 at the time. I don’t think this should be happening to young women. It shouldn’t happen to any woman just because they take birth-control pills.”

She said that she had no prior history of serious health problems when she had the stroke, and described the experience as terrifying.

There is a great deal of merit to Hamilton’s case. Even though Bayer, of course, defends its product, there are currently some 1,100 cases in the United States and Canada that have been filed against the company regarding these medications. The FDA has warned Bayer in the past for downplaying the safety issues with these two medicines, as well. Perhaps Hamilton’s popularity and name will help bring this case more into the light, where people can find the resolution they’re seeking.