A class action lawsuit over Yaz and Yasmin birth control has been filed in Canada against Bayer Pharmaceuticals on behalf of women who were prescribed the birth control pill, alleging that the drug maker hid the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects of Yaz and Yasmin.
The Yasmin and Yaz class action lawsuit was filed earlier this week in the St. Catharines, Ontario, by Christine Lovelace and Jennifer Demunnik. Both women say that Yaz and Yasmin cause health problems above and beyond those caused by other typical oral contraceptives.
In the United States, about 1,100 Yaz lawsuits and Yasmin lawsuits have been filed on behalf of individual women who allege that they suffered injuries that were caused by the birth control pills, such as a stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder disease and other injuries.
Lovelace alleges that she suffered a transient ischemic attack, also known as a “mini-stroke,” last fall after taking Yaz for several months. She was temporarily paralyzed on her left side and could not communicate. She has mostly recovered, but still suffers hand and foot nerve damage. Demunnik alleges that she developed gallstones after a year and a half on the birth control pill and had to have her gallbladder removed from Yaz.
Yaz and Yasmin are similar pills that are both manufactured by Bayer, containing a combination of ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone, a new type of progestin. 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.
The lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin have suggested that the oral contraceptives have been responsible for at least 50 deaths in the U.S. alone.
The Canadian Yaz class action lawsuit claims that Bayer knew, or should have known, that the birth control pills carry a higher risk of side effects than other birth control pills. The lawsuit is seeking $487,000 for each Canadian woman prescribed Yaz or Yasmin, and an additional $20 million in punitive damages against Bayer.
There have been at least four Canadian Yaz and Yasmin class action lawsuits filed against Bayer in Canada. In the United States, all federal Yaz litigation has been consolidated for pretrial proceedings in a multidistrict litigation (MDL), under Chief Judge David Herndon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.