For several years, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the popular birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, marketed the oral contraceptives as not only effective in preventing pregnancy, but also as the solution to a variety of other conditions associated with menstruation, such as acne, body aches and mood swings. That ad campaign has come under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration, which recently ordered Bayer to run a $20 million ad campaign to correct the misrepresentations made by the company. According to the FDA, Bayer overstated the benefits of Yaz while improperly downplaying its risks. In its letter warning Bayer about the ads, the FDA noted that Yaz actually has additional risks compared to other birth control pills because it contains a progestin called drospirenone, which can increase potassium levels. The side effects of drospirenone include an increased risk of serious heart and other health problems.
Yaz and Yasmin are already the subject of multiple federal lawsuits against Bayer, alleging that the pharmaceutical giant failed to warn women and their doctors of the increased risk of injury associated with the pills while overpromoting the benefits of the oral contraceptives. The most notable – and life threatening – of these injuries include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms. Bayer’s irresponsible marketing of these oral contraceptives has left otherwise healthy young woman facing frightening health consequences caused by a drug that they and their physicians believed they could trust. If you or someone you know has suffered blood clots, pulmonary embolism, hyperkalemia (elevated potassium levels), hypertension, seizures/convulsions or kidney problems after taking Yaz or Yasmin, you should contact an attorney to review the circumstances surrounding your injuries and investigate whether you are entitled to compensation.