Bayer’s new birth control pill has many people wondering if it will pose the same adverse side effects as the company’s controversial Yaz/Yasmin. And there is good reason to wonder, since the pill is exactly the same as Yaz except it has one added ingredient: vitamin B9.
Yaz has suffered through a lot of controversy in 2010 with women filing lawsuits against Bayer. The women claim that they weren’t properly warned about the adverse side effects of taking the drug, which include an increased risk of heart complications, pulmonary embolisms, strokes, severe depression that may lead to suicide and blood clots.
Even with the lawsuits piling up, Bayer has refused to take the popular birth control pill off the market. Instead, the company decided to release a “new” pill. Beyaz, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, contains folate (folic acid). Folic acid is basically just a form of vitamin B9 which is a natural nutrient the body needs. It is a vitamin that can be found in healthy foods like broccoli, asparagus, lentils and spinach.
The addition of folate is the big selling point for Bayer’s new Beyaz because Bayer is claiming that since no birth control method can be 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, this new pill helps the woman taking Beyaz to stock up on the vitamin that doctors prescribe to pregnant women to prevent birth defects like spina bifida should they become pregnant.
That may be an odd selling point for a birth control pill, but considering all of the negative press that the original Yaz/Yasmin is getting, Bayer officials clearly feel that anything is better than Bayer simply admitting that Beyaz is the exact same pill as Yaz/Yasmin with the addition of folate. In the end, Bayer’s stubborn unwillingness to admit failure and get rid of Yaz altogether may cost them.