Beyaz Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Stroke From New Version of Yaz

A Colorado man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bayer, alleging that his wife died as a result of a stroke caused by Beyaz, a newer version of the drug maker’s blockbuster Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills.

The Beyaz lawsuit was filed by Scott Lamb on March 19, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

According to allegations raised in the complaint, Lamb’s wife, Kelly, was prescribed Beyaz birth control, which combines Yaz with a folate supplement, and suffered a stroke that resulted in her death on May 18, 2011.

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Bayer introduced Beyaz in September 2010, as their blockbuster Yaz pill began to face competition from generic equivalents. Both Yaz and Beyaz combine 0.02 mg of ethinyl estradiol with 3 mg of drospirenone, a newer generation progestin, which was originally introduced in 2001 with Yazmin birth control, which combines 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol with the same 3 mg of drospirenone.

Although Yasmin, Yaz and now Beyaz have been heavily promoted in direct-to-consumer television advertisements, multiple studies have suggested side effects of drospirenone are linked to a higher risk of blood clots when compared to older birth control pills, potentially increasing the risk that women will suffer a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke or sudden death.

According to allegations raised in Lamb’s complaint, and thousands of other Yaz lawsuits and Yasmin lawsuits filed on behalf of women throughout the United States, Bayer failed to adequately warn about the increased risk of serious and potentially life-threatening injuries associated with the birth control pills.

Last year, the FDA released a report that suggested drospirenone-based birth control pills may increase the risk of blood clots by 75% over older birth control pills. They also doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes in users who were new to birth control, with some health problems appearing in less than three months after women started to take the pills.

Lamb’s complaint will be consolidated with all other federal lawsuits against Bayer over their drospirenone-based birth control pills, which have been centralized for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Louisiana as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

Earlier this year, the federal judge presiding the Yaz and Yasmin MDL ordered Bayer and plaintiffs’ lawyers to engage in settlement negotiations before the first cases are submitted to a jury.  Known as bellwether cases, those early trial dates are often used to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to evidence that may be introduced in multiple cases.

In addition to Beyaz, generic versions of Yaz and Yasmin are sold under a variety of names, including Ocella, Gianvi, Loryna, Safyral, Syeda and Zarah.


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