The parents of a teenage girl who had her gallbladder removed after taking the birth control pill, Yaz, have filed a lawsuit on her behalf. The complaint accuses Bayer and other defendants of negligence for failing to warn of serious Yaz side effects, including gallbladder disease.
The complaint is one of thousands filed by alleged victim of the Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills. According to the complaint, the young woman began taking Yaz in 2011, when she was 14 or 15 years old. By April of 2012, she had to undergo emergency surgery to have her gallbladder removed. The lawsuit alleges her use of Yaz caused the young woman to suffer physical pain and emotional distress, and has put her at risk for kidney and liver problems. As a result, she will need medical treatments and monitoring for the rest of her life.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Yasmin in 2001 as a combined oral contraceptive. Yaz gained approval in 2006. Just two years after Yaz was cleared for sale, the FDA issued a warning letter to Bayer after finding that its TV commercials incorrectly touted Yaz as an effective way to treat all types of acne and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) while failing to properly warn about the risks. Bayer produced a $20 million corrective campaign in 2009.
Both Yaz and Yasmin contain drospirenone, a type of synthetic progestin that had not been used in oral contraceptives prior to the approval of Yasmin. In April, the FDA announced that the labels for Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone birth control pills would be updated to provide stronger information regarding their blood clot risks, after some studies indicated that such contraceptives were associated with as high as a three-fold increase in the risk of serious blood clots, including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.
Thousands of lawsuit alleging Yaz and Yasmin caused serious side effects, including blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, strokes and gallbladder disease, are now pending in the Yaz and Yasmin products liability litigation now underway in U.S. District Court, District of Southern Illinois. Hundreds of others have been filed in state courts.
Bayer recently revealed that it has already settled 1,900 Yaz and Yasmin blood clot lawsuits for $406.2 million. The company also said it planned to up its reserves for Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits, and will be setting aside an additional $610 million to take care of legal costs not covered by its insurance.