California Woman Sues Over Yasmin Injuries

Another lawsuit has been filed against Bayer Pharmaceuticals over Yasmin injuries. Louise Thanos says she took Yasmin, which is manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, from November 20007 to November 2009, said Mercury News, and alleges she suffered from organ failure as a result of the pills. Thanos also alleges that, in March 2008, she suffered from gallbladder failure, according to the lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court, wrote Mercury News.

Also, according to the lawsuit, the complaint alleges that Bayer Pharmaceuticals sold Yasmin although it was aware there were risks with the drug, said Mercury News. The lawsuit also said that Bayer’s actions are “despicable and so contemptible that it would have been looked down upon and despised by ordinary people,” wrote Mercury News, quoting the lawsuit.

In the United States, Yasmin—and Yaz a different drug made with the same key ingredient—have been named in hundreds of lawsuits filed by women who claim the medications caused them to suffer blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, gallbladder disease, and other health problems.

Yaz and Yasmin are both made with a type of progestin called drospirenone, making them different from many other oral contraceptives. Drospirenone can elevate the body’s potassium levels, which can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia in certain patients. Hyperkalemia may result in potentially serious heart and health problems. Adverse Events reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) involving Yaz and Yasmin include heart arrhythmias, electrolyte imbalance, hyponatremis, hyperkalemia, hyperkalemic arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, bradycardia, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemic attack, blood clots, embolisms, and sudden death. Some complaints are surfacing regarding gallbladder problems. Hundreds of women in the U.S. and elsewhere have filed suit over such injuries.

Earlier this month, for example, we wrote that both Yasmin and Yaz were named in a lawsuit filed by a group of Canadian women who, according to Canadian media reports, alleged that they were not adequately warned about higher-than-usual risks for stroke and side effects of Yaz and Yasmin. The Canadian lawsuit’s statement of claim alleges that Bayer failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about the increased risk of serious adverse injuries associated with use of Yasmin and Yaz as compared to safer oral contraceptives.

We also recently wrote that all U.S. lawsuits involving Yaz and Yasmin that were pending in federal courts were consolidated for centralized and coordinated pre-trial proceedings in the Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before Judge David R. Herndon (MDL No. 2100). In December, Judge Herndon discussed scheduling a series of “bellwether” trials for the lawsuits, which will serve as a guideline for other cases. Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits pending in Pennsylvania and New Jersey state courts have also been consolidated.

Bayer maintains its medications are safe and complaints resulted from side effects listed on the drug’s packaging; however, the FDA has warned Bayer to clarify the pills’ risks, wrote Mercury News. On three occasions—2003, 2008, and 2009, said Mercury News, the agency advised the drug maker to not exaggerate the drugs’ benefits or minimize its risks. As a result, it was mandated that Bayer spend some $20 million on corrective advertisements.

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