Yaz Birth Control Lawsuit - Consumer Drug Report
Yaz® trials to Proceed if Mediation Fails

The U.S. District Court Judge presiding over Yaz and Yasmin® litigation issued an order in December 2011 to indefinitely continue nine bellwether trials against pharmaceutical company Bayer. These lawsuits were filed by women who allege that the oral contraceptives cause injuries. These injuries include blood clots, stroke, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, and even death.

The Food and Drug Administration conducted a study in 2011 on what are considered “new generation” birth contraceptives like Yaz which contain an ingredient known as drospirenone. Over 835,000 women were examined. The study concluded that women who took these drospirenone containing oral contraceptives were at a 74% higher risk for developing blood clots than women on low estrogen contraceptives.

The cases against Bayer were filed in several federal courts throughout the nation. However, it was deemed necessary and in the best interest of the litigation to have all of these cases consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois.

Stephen Salzburg, a George Washington professor of law, was chosen by U.S. District Court Judge David Herndon to take the active role as mediator between Bayer and the plaintiffs. It is expected that both parties will reach a settlement in good faith, however, if no settlement is reached, the first trial will begin on April 30, 2012. Also, if the parties do not act in good faith, Judge Herndon will return the cases to their original districts in which they were filed.

On December 8, 2011, the FDA’s advisory panel met to discuss the safety of Yaz and Yasmin. In a vote of 15 to 11, it was determined that the benefits outweigh the risk for these oral contraceptives.

Both Yaz and Yasmin are taken by women throughout the U.S. and generated revenues of $1.5 billion for Bayer during 2010.

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