The FDA is an important part of the American medical landscape. As a regulatory body, it is tasked with making sure that pharma companies don’t cut corners or engage in dangerous practices. So it’s natural that the FDA has been keeping an eye on the developing worries associated with the birth control medicines Yaz and Yasmin. By this point in time, information about the potential health risks of these medicines is available, thanks to such efforts. However, the information available is not necessarily complete, and a fresh look usually is beneficial.

For example, did you know that the history of difficulties with Yaz and Yasmin goes back to a warning issued by the FDA in 2003? The drug first was approved in 2001. Two years later and there were already warnings being issued to Bayer for misleading business practices. Specifically, FDA officials warned Bayer for overstating the safety of its new medications. Bear in mind, this is not a narrowly-prescribed medicine — Yaz is approved for the treatment of acne. A medicine that can cause blood clots and even strokes has been promoted as perfectly safe for treating young ladies for acne. A further warning was leveled for the same problem in 2008 as well.

Of course, language is everything. Saying that a warning was given can mean a number of things, after all. If we’re pulled over and given a warning, nothing happens to our bank accounts or licenses. In Bayer’s case, the 2008 warning resulted in a $20 million dollar fine. The company was ordered to use the money to pay for an advertising campaign to serve as a correction for misleading advertisements stating how safe Yaz was. $20 million dollars is more than some government programs have in their budgets at any given time. Yet people aren’t always aware of this information, which makes getting the word out to everyone possible a priority for anyone concerned with the effects these medicines may have on their friends and loved ones.

—–