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By: Irvin Jackson | Published: June 14th, 2013
Multiple media outlets in Canada have raised concerns about reports submitted to Health Canada involving nearly two dozen deaths that may be connected to side effects of Yaz and Yasmin birth control.
According to an analysis by CBC News of adverse event reports collected by the Canadian drug and medical device oversight agency, the popular birth control pills are suspected of causing at least 23 deaths involving women in Canada after they suffered a blood-clot related injury.
Otherwise healthy Women as young as 18 years old have died from pulmonary embolism and other side effects that have been caused by Bayer’s birth control pills over the last three years. The information highlights concerns raised in wrongful death lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin brought in the United States, as well as thousands of injury cases and class action lawsuits filed in Canada.
Yaz and Yasmin Blood Clot Concerns
Yaz and Yasmin are similar birth control pills, both containing the controversial fourth generation progestin drospirenone, which has been linked to an increased risk of blood clots and other injuries. Together with generic equivalents and other Bayer birth control pills that contain drospirenone, such as Beyaz, the drugs are among the most widely used birth control medications in the world.
In recent years, a number of studies have suggested that users of Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone birth control pills face an increased risk of blood clots when compared to certain older birth control pills.
In April 2012, new blood clot warnings were added to Yaz and Yasmin in the United States, indicating that studies suggest that drospirenone-based birth cojntrol may be more dangerous than oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel or some other progestins. Some studies report that users of Yaz may face triple the risk of blood clots, and an FDA analysis found that drospirenone pills were associated with a 1.5 fold increase in the blood clot risk.
Bayer currently faces more than 12,000 Yaz lawsuits and Yasmin lawsuits in the United States, all of which allege that the drug maker failed adequately to warn women and the medical community about the increased risk of blood clots associated with their products, placing their desire for profits before consumer safety.
According to an annual report released by Bayer in March, the drug maker had already paid more than $1 billion to resolve 4,800 claims involving blood clot injuries.
In the federal court system, the Yaz and Yasmin litigation has been consolidated as part of an MDL before Judge Herndon, and it has grown to become the largest consolidated litigation in the United States, with the total number of active cases surpassing the asbestos litigation last year.
The company has also agreed to pay $24 million to settle claims that the birth control pills cause gallbladder disease. Until the settlement, Bayer had maintained that women do not face an increased risk of gallbladder disease from Yaz and Yasmin compared to other oral birth control pills.