When court documents were unsealed in a Yaz MDL Illinois in December 2011, Bayer was said to have hidden important information about how dangerous the drugs are. Side effects linked to Yaz and Yasmin are numerous and potentially life threatening. Some of those side effects include heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder disease and blood clots that can lead to serious conditions like deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms.
While Bayer was made aware of these side effects, the company has long been claiming that Yaz and Yasmin are no more dangerous than older birth control pills. All of these side effects associated with Yaz and Yasmin have been blamed on drospirenone, a synthetic progestin that is one of the primary active ingredients in the pills. Because of the side effects that Bayer is accused of hiding from the public, the company is facing over 10,000 plaintiffs that have filed Yaz lawsuits.
Bayer has tried everything to downplay Yaz’s side effects, including trying to prevent former FDA commissioner David Kessler from testifying in one of those lawsuits. However, the company failed miserably in that effort. Now Kessler’s report is included in the documents that were unsealed on December 4, 2011.
Kessler has stated that before the FDA approved Yasmin back in 2001 (Yaz didn’t get approval until 2006), Bayer possessed study results that showed the drugs’ links to deep vein thrombosis. The problem here is that Bayer didn’t inform the FDA about the test results before the approval was given. Now the company is going to have to face the thousands of plaintiffs’ claims. For now, Bayer has agreed to settle 70 of the cases filed against them, which could lead to many more; but for the time being, the 70 settled cases is a start.