First introduced in the U.S. in 2006, Yaz, a birth control method manufactured and marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, has helped thousands of women prevent pregnancy and shorten the duration and severity of menstruation. However, court documents indicate that more than 10,000 women have filed Yaz lawsuits with help from a Yaz attorney against Bayer, alleging that the pill caused blood and heart disorders, blood clots, strokes and other serious side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after reviewing adverse event reports submitted by patients, voted to strengthen the warning labels on Yaz and Yasmin in December 2008. In fact, the FDA mandated a “black box” warning label on both products, the most serious label that it can issue. The warning cautions women of the risk of smoking while taking the drug as doing so has reportedly resulted in an increased risk of life-threatening and severe cardiovascular complications.
If you or a loved one took Yaz and later suffered from a heart attack, stroke or other adverse side effect, you may be able to recover damages for your condition. Contact the Johnson & Vines Law Firm today to learn more about your options.
Yaz Side Effects
Although Yaz increased in popularity over the first several years since its introduction, patients began to report adverse side effects shortly after starting the medication. Not only was Yaz intended to prevent against pregnancy, Bayer also marketed the pill as a successful way to treat acne and premenstrual syndrome. These claims asserted by Bayer helped make Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella a top choice for birth control among women.
Bayer’s low-dose alternative, Yasmin, and Ocella, a generic version manufactured and marketed by a different company, are also under investigation due to allegedly severe side effects, despite the differences in the medications and dosage amounts. Plaintiffs working with a Yaz attorney allege that these contraceptives may result in:
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolisms
- Heart attacks
- Gallbladder diseases
Additionally, the FDA’s adverse event reporting system indicated that women across the country were suffering from other adverse side effects such as heart arrhythmias, electrolyte imbalance, hyperkalemia, gallbladder problems, hyponatremis, blood clots, embolisms and sudden death while taking the medication.
Bayer Reprimanded for Marketing Methods
It is generally understood that manufacturers are responsible for creating safe products while adequately and accurately warning the public about any potential risks or side effects associated with the product. Manufacturers are also responsible for correctly advertising the drug without knowingly providing misrepresentations to consumers. According to plaintiffs, Bayer did not meet these requirements.
Bayer’s “Not Gonna Take It” and “Balloons” commercials, although once widely promoted, were later modified after the FDA found them to be misleading and inaccurate. The FDA asserted that these promotions and marketing tactics wrongly suggested that Yaz was an approved, effective and safe method to treat PMS and acne of all degrees. However, Yaz was only approved to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder and moderate acne. Although Yaz was also a contraceptive, the FDA stated that Bayer overemphasized its effectiveness to treat other conditions.
The commercials also allegedly downplayed the risks of the medication; the visual and audio effects distracted consumers from gaining important knowledge regarding the most important part of the commercials. Bayer allegedly used catchy background music and fast-changing scenes to distract viewers when the company discussed the risks.
Patients File Yaz Lawsuits
Plaintiffs and their Yaz attorneys claim that Bayer used false statements in their advertising and marketing promotions to tone down the side effects of Yaz. The number of claims filed against Bayer has increased so drastically that a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been established to more efficiently handle the lawsuits pertaining to Yaz and Yasmin.
Thousands of women were allegedly injured and more than 100 deaths were reported as a result of these contraceptives. Additionally, Bayer has been accused of failing to highlight the serious risks associated with the medications. Other claims include:
- Medical monitoring
- Fraud and deceit
- Fraudulent concealment
- Negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation
- Breach of express and implied warranties
- Strict product liability
According to Reuters, as of October 2012, Bayer had settled nearly 3,500 Yaz lawsuits, paying an estimated $750 million. If you experienced severe side-effects while taking Yaz and would like to learn more about pursuing a claim against Bayer, consider seeking legal counsel from a Yaz attorney today.
Contact a Yaz Attorney to File a Lawsuit
If you or a loved one took Yaz as a form of birth control and later suffered from adverse or life-threatening side effects, a Yaz attorney can help you determine if you have a claim. The Johnson & Vines Law Firm offers free, no-obligation consultations to those who have sustained injuries while taking this birth control method and will work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. Depending on your situation, a Yaz attorney can help you seek damages for lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. Contact us today to learn more.