Despite Yaz, Yasmin Problems Sales Continue to Climb

Although there has been an increasing amount of media coverage in recent months for Yaz lawsuit and Yasmin lawsuit filings, as well as several medical studies highlighting the risk of blood clots from Yaz and Yasmin, Bayer reported this week that sales for the family of birth control pills rose nearly 4.6% over the last quarter.

Bayer announced earnings on Tuesday for the three months ending on September 30, indicating that they will rely on the sales of Yasmin, the newer Yaz and the low-dose Yasminelle, to help push it through the current economic recession. The birth control pills all contain a combination of ethinyl estradiol, which is used in many oral contraceptives, and drospirenone, a unique type of progestin that is only found in these drugs and a generic Yasmin version sold under the brand name Ocella.

Drospirenone, or drsp, impacts the body’s normal mechanism of regulating a balance between salt and water, which could result in elevated potassium levels. This can cause a condition known as hyperkalemia, which is linked to potentially life-threatening heart problems and other health issues.

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The increase in sales of Yasmin and Yaz comes as the birth control pills face increasing scrutiny, including media coverage of two recent studies that found drospirenone-based birth control carry an increased risk of blood clots when compared to some older contraceptives.

Bayer also disclosed on October 8 that they have already been served with at least 129 Yasmin or Yaz lawsuits, which allege the drug caused women to suffer a variety of different injuries, including strokes, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder disease and sudden death.

On October 1, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order that consolidates the federal Yasmin litigation in an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. The cases have been centralized before U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon in East St. Louis for coordinated handling. In addition, a number of Yasmin and Yaz cases are consolidated in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia.

Yaz and Yasmin lawyers who are pursuing claims are receiving more and more inquiries from potential clients as the media coverage of the lawsuits and studies has increased. Some speculate that several thousand women will ultimately file a Yaz or Yasmin lawsuit.

The complaints claim that Bayer failed to properly research their birth control pills, provided inadequate warnings and that the drugs should have been recalled after post-marketing reports began to show that the risk of potentially life-threatening side effects of Yasmin and Yaz outweigh any potential benefit provided over other available oral contraceptives.

Last month, Bayer also received a warning from the FDA over conditions at the German plant which manufactures ingredients contained in Yaz, Yasmin and Yasminelle. The FDA indicated the drug giant sent out potentially low-quality batches of drosperinone and attempted to justify the shipments by only looking at the “average” quality of all shipments, as opposed to the quality of each individual batch.


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