Yaz is the brand name for a relatively new birth control pill that is a combination of progestin hormones along with other components and is manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (drospirone/ethinyl estradiol). It is the top-selling women’s contraceptive in the United States with more than $600 million in sales in 2008. This high number in sales may be attributed to the fact that Bayer’s promotional campaign for Yaz has been claiming some unusual benefits for its users.

The ingredients in Yaz is a powerful diuretic and can significantly increase potassium levels. However, this new drug seems to carry with it some unusually high health risks as well. The makers of Yaz birth control for women are claiming that the contraceptive, besides preventing conception, also helps reduce the symptoms of acne, relieves irritability and moodiness, helps fatigue, headaches, bloating and muscle aches. Bayer’s television advertisements also claim that Yaz relieves the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and will alleviate the problem of increased appetite. Sounds like a miracle pill for women, doesn‘t it? The problem with this advertising campaign is that the FDA did not approve Yaz for use with these symptoms.

In February of this year, the US FDA and 27 State Attorney Generals announced that a settlement had been reached with regard to a lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare for implying in their commercials that Yaz could be used to treat the above mentioned symptoms for which Yaz was not approved. This settlement is an addition to the 2007 Judgment against Bayer for misleading advertisements for the drug Yaz and for minimizing the health risks associated with the use of Yaz.

The FDA did approve Yaz for treating certain types of moderate acne and it was approved for treating PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) and of course, pregnancy. The commercials however claimed much more in the way of treatments or cures and while distracting music is played, the health risks were minimized. The pharmaceutical company is required to invest $20 million to make new commercials. The new settlement requires that the new television commercials be submitted to the FDA for approval prior to being aired. This is an unusual demand that the FDA is making. Normally, this step is voluntary.

A wave of serious Yaz associated injuries and deaths have been reported by women, doctors and other healthcare providers that include blood clots, pulmonary embolism, stroke and heart attack. In addition, some women have been reporting gall bladder disorders and removals, kidney stones and deep vein thrombosis. In some cases, the women were simply taking the drug to control their acne, but as a result suffered increased potassium levels that led to gallbladder damage and removal. Other women suffered blood clots and sudden death as a result of taking the pill for the PMS related systems of emotional discomfort. Other side effects of Yaz include liver damage, depression, migraines, breast lumps, vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chest pain, confusion, coughing blood and severe allergic reactions. Some of these women were not even hold enough to bear children yet. Because of these symptoms and injuries, a large number of lawsuits are being filed in behalf of the victims to the extent that attorneys across the country are doting this event the newest mass tort.

If you or someone you know is taking the prescription medication Yaz that is manufactured by Bayer Healthcare and you have had any of the symptoms or side effects associated with this drug, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the professional attorneys at Ashkin Law Firm by filling out the Quick Contact form on the home page of this website.



Ashkin Law Firm
Roberta Ashkin, Esq.
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New York New York 10017
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