Bayer tried to prevent the media from bashing its blockbuster birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin by taking a Swiss television station to court — but was denied a victory.
With Bayer’s suit falling on deaf ears in the European court, the company isn’t getting the kind of sympathy it was hoping for. The appeals court rejected the drug giant’s request that the television station be punished for reporting about the 190 deaths that occurred because of side effects associated with Yaz and Yasmin. The television station got the information on the deaths from the FDA’s database of adverse reactions. The database included information that is confirmed and unconfirmed about various reports on different drugs including Yaz and Yasmin.
Bayer’s main argument in the court was that the information that the drug database contains didn’t give a proper account of how dangerous Yaz really is. Regardless of how accurate the information in the database is, thousands of women have filed lawsuits against the drug giant because of serious side effects they suffered while taking the contraceptives.
While it is known that all birth control pills can cause blood clots, it is the ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone in Yaz and Yasmin that studies have shown increases the risk even more than regular birth control pills. This once “wonder pill” has been proven to hold more risks than benefits in the long run. Some of those risks include heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, gallbladder disease and sudden death.
Bayer is stubbornly sticking by Yaz and Yasmin. Since it can’t fight the claims made against the pills in the U.S., Bayer thought it might be able to halt reports on Swiss TV by saying that the station’s report about the deaths were manipulative. Bayer also claimed that because the station aired the story, it was in breach of the “statutory requirement of factual accuracy.” Bayer lost both its original court case and its appeal in federal court.