Yaz lawsuits and Yasmin lawsuits are pending both in an MDL where federal cases from all around the country are consolidated in Illinois, and in state courts across the nation, concentrated in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. These Yaz/Yasmin claims involve pulmonary embolism, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and stroke in young women you just don’t expect to be at such a high risk for these cardiac events. There are also reports of gallbladder injuries from the use of Yaz/Yasmin.What Is the Theory of How Yaz Causes Injury?
What is the difference between Yaz/Yasmin and other birth control pills that leads to the injuries that have fueled these lawsuits? Birth control pills for years have contained progestin hormones. But Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella (the generic of Yaz/Yasmin) contain drospirenone, a “fourth generation” progestin. Other birth control pills that have been safe and effective for years do not contain drospirenone.
What is the mechanism of injury? Evidence points to the impact drospirenone has on potassium levels in the blood. Potassium is a mineral important to kidney function. But like all good things, moderation is the name of the game. Excessive potassium can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia, which can cause heart rhythm disturbances.
When a person has a heart rythym disturbance, it slows the flow of blood to the heart which can lead to blood clots. Many of the Yaz cases our lawyers have seen involve pulmonary embolisms. What may be happening is that blood clots formed in the heart are traveling to the lungs where they can cause pulmonary embolisms.What is the Evidence Supporting the Yaz Lawsuits?
Because birth control drugs with drospirenone are new, there is not much safety data available for birth control drugs that contain drospirenone (especially compared with the safety data from known brith controls using other progestin hormones). Studies that were done prior to FDA approval, however, indicate that drospirenone has certain effects that are different other progestins.
The evidence of these concerns is not new. In April 2002, the Dutch College of General Practitioners in Denmark recommended that patients avoid Yasmin after reports of 40 cases of patients getting blood clots while on Yasmin. From 2004 to 2008, there were reports of over 50 reports of death among users of Yasmin and YAZ have been filed with the FDA. Again, this is just not what should be happening to young woman of child-bearing years.What Do the Yasmin/Yaz Lawsuits Argue Bayer Did Wrong?
The Yaz lawsuits allege that Bayer knew or should have known that Yasmin and Yaz could cause these health consequences in woman and, instead of warning consumers or issuing a recall for Yaz and Yasmin, continued to leave these drugs on the market without keeping doctors and patients informed. Bayer overpromoted the benefits of the drugs, and advertised the drug for non-FDA approved uses (including treatment of PMS, bloating, muscle aches and fatigue). In October, 2008 the FDA sent Bayer a letter identifying that its television advertisements were untrue, and that Yasmin/Yaz has additional risks because of its chemical makeup, as compared to other oral contraceptives. Bayer agreed to spend $20 million on corrective ads, many of which are airing on television now. These Yaz/Yasmin lawsuits claim injuries that include deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder damage, kidney failure, myocardial infarctions, and pulmonary embolisms.
As indicated above, Plaintiffs’ Yasmin/Yaz lawyers allege that Yasmin/Yaz, unlike under birth control pills, contains drospirenone, a diuretic. The presence of a diuretic in Yaz/Yasmin causes a rise in potassium which can lead to “hyperkalemia” or unsafe levels of potassium that disrupt heart rhythms and slow the flow of blood. The Yasmin/Yaz lawsuits allege that this can lead to blood clotting. According to a recent Yaz/Yasmin lawsuit in Ohio, over 50 deaths of Yaz and Yasmin users have been reported to the FDA. There is typically vast underreporting of adverse reports in drug death cases. As a result, in the British Medical Journal, the Dutch College of General Practitioners suggest that its members forgo Yasmin/Yaz and use other forms of birth control, citing the 40 reported cases of venous thrombosis that include the death of a 17 year-old who suddenly collapsed and died after taking Yasmin for six months. Apparently, consumers share this concern: approximately 240 million units of the Yasmin family of birth-control products were produced in 2008; reports expect that sales will drop 25% in 2009.
Interestingly, while product liability lawyers in the United States are always said to be pushing lawsuits against drug companies, there has been a slow response to the concern about Yasmin/Yaz in the United States. There is no class action lawsuit Yasmin/Yaz lawsuit to date although many Yasmin/Yaz lawsuits are now being filed around the country. In Europe, reports of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis were being made soon after Yasmin was approved in Europe in 2000.What is the Current Status of the Yasmin/Yaz Lawsuits?
The Judicial Panel on MultiDistrict Litigation (JPML) today approved MDL-2100, In Re: Yasmin and YAZ (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation. The effect of the order is to transfer all YAZ and Yasmin drug defect cases that are now or later filed in federal courts to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The judge in charge of coordinated and/or consolidated proceedings there will be Chief Judge David R. Herndon (a Clinton appointee who, while in private practice, primarily represented plaintiffs in FELA railroad cases).Do I Have A Yasmin/Yaz Claim?
If you or a loved one has used Yasmin/Yaz and have suffered from blood clots, stroke, DVT, heart attack or gallbladder injury, please call one of our Yasmin/Yaz attorneys at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free no obligation consultation on your potential Yasmin/Yaz lawsuit.