Yaz Birth Control Lawsuit Involving Antitrust Claims Dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed antitrust claims filed by Sandoz, which alleged Bayer’s Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills are crowding out competition and dominating the market.

Yaz and Yasmin are extremely popular oral contraceptives, despite evidence that links the birth control pills to a high rate of blood clots and a growing number of lawsuits that have been filed by consumers alleging that inadequate warnings were provided about the potential side effects of Yaz and Yasmin.   

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe dismissed an anti-trust lawsuit filed by Sandoz, a division of Novartis AG, saying that the company failed to prove Bayer’s alleged dominance over the birth control pill market. Gardephe said that evidence showed Bayer only controlled a 29 percent market share, far under the 50 percent Sandoz claimed.

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In addition to claiming Bayer was monopolizing the market, Sandoz also claimed that there were no functional substitutes to Yaz or Yasmin for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder or premenstrual syndrome. Gardephe ruled that Sandoz failed to prove this claim as well.

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.

Although the birth control pills remain popular, Bayer currently faces thousands of Yaz lawsuits and Yasmin lawsuits, filed on behalf of women who have suffered heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and other serious blood clot-related injuries, which they allege may have been prevented if more adequate information about the risk of health problems associated with the birth control pills.

In December, an FDA advisory committee is scheduled to review the safety of Yaz and Yasmin following a federally-funded study that found that women taking drosperinone-based oral contraceptives are 1.5 times more at risk of suffering blood clots than any other birth control pill.


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