The controversial birth control pill Yaz was voted to remain on the market by an FDA panel advisory in 2011. Still, many patients are coming forward with lawsuits against the manufacturers of the pills over the blood clots risks associated with the pills.
Even as Bayer, the makers of Yaz and Yasmin, are starting to offer settlements to as many as 500 plaintiffs (they offered $110 million to settle Yaz lawsuits), it seems that more lawsuits will continue to be filed over blood clots and the conditions that the blood clots can lead to. Pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis lawsuits have been filed recently and continue to be filed by patients and their families due to the seriousness of the injuries. In some cases, these blood clots have caused deaths. It has many people wondering why the FDA panel advisory committee voted to keep Yaz and Yasmin on the market at all.
Some experts believe that the panel vote was biased after it was discovered that at least four members of the panel had financial ties to Bayer, but the FDA continues to stand by the panel’s recommendation. The source of the controversy against Yaz’s side effects is the drug’s main active ingredient, drospirenone. Drospirenone is a fourth-generation synthetic progestin that is also known to cause other serious side effects besides blood clots, including heart attacks, strokes and gallbladder disease. All of those side effects have been included in numerous lawsuits against Bayer, many of which are still pending.
More lawsuits are expected to be filed amid claims that Bayer did not properly warn consumers and healthcare professionals about the pills’ side effects and that company officials knowingly hid the dangers from the public. The company’s own former ad campaign, while promoting the drug’s off-label uses (cure for acne and PMDD), downplayed the side effects. The FDA eventually had to force Bayer to change the ad to include the blood clot warnings, but for many, that warning came too late. This is why so many more Yaz blood clot lawsuits are expected to be filed in the future.