This month saw another Yaz lawsuit plaintiff added to a California master complaint when Katelyn Martin filed her lawsuit against Bayer on April 2, 2012 in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.
According to Martin’s complaint, she suffered from deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism on September 2, 2011. While Martin’s case has been filed separately from the master complaint, her case meets with the requirements that allow her case to be included with the others in terms of the accusations being made by other plaintiffs about the side effects they have suffered after taking Yaz and/or the generic version, Ocella. In joining her case to the master complaint, Martin’s lawsuit should move through the system faster.
Yaz, Yasmin and their generic equivalents have been linked to various side effects, including heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder disease and blood clots that can lead to pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis. Research has shown that the pills’ primary active ingredient, drospirenone (a synthetic progestin), is responsible for these side effects. At one point, FDA officials had received so many complaints about Yaz that they put together a panel advisory meeting to determine if the blood clot risk warranted a recall of the pills. In the end, the panel recommended that Yaz remain on the shelves, but with the stipulation that the warning labels on the drug show the blood clot risk more predominantly. This decision met with criticism after it was discovered that four of the panel members had financial ties to Bayer, but their recommendation was upheld.
While Bayer continues to maintain that Yaz and other drospirenone-based pills are no more dangerous than other birth control pills that don’t contain drospirenone, the company recently agreed to a financial settlement of around 500 Yaz lawsuits for $110 million. That doesn’t sound like a company that is 100 percent certain that its pills are safe. This move on Bayer’s part may just end up helping the other Yaz lawsuits. Of course, I doubt that was Bayer’s intention when they agreed to the settlement.