Yaz and Yasmin are two combined hormonal oral contraceptive pills marketed by Bayer. The major active ingredient in both pills is Drospirenone (DSRP), a type of progestin that prevents pregnancy and also provides relief from symptoms of Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder (PMDD), a severe mood disorder tied to a woman's menstrual cycle. Both pills were approved for sale to the public in 2001 and are still available today, despite increasing questions about their safety and about Bayer's research and marketing practices in connection with the medications.
Although the Food and Drug Administration approved Yaz and Yasmin for certain indicated purposes, Bayer has attempted to market the pills for off-label, unapproved uses. The oral contraceptives were only given approval status for preventing pregnancy and treating the relatively rare PMDD condition. Despite this fact, Bayer engaged in multi-million dollar print and television ad campaigns, touting the pills' effectiveness at treating mild acne and PMDD (which they equated with severe PMS, a misleading explanation designed to confuse consumers). The FDA found Bayer's marketing campaigns to be so deceptive that in 2008 they ordered the company to destroy all Yaz and Yasmin print ads and pull all television commercials from the air. Bayer was also forced to spend $20 million running corrective advertisements, although by the time this penalty was enforced, the two drugs combined had already generated more than $2 billion in annual revenue for the pharmaceutical giant.
In addition to these advertising practices Bayer made efforts to conceal the health concerns associated with Yaz and Yasmin. In seeking approval for the drugs, Bayer only reported the findings of safety studies which they sponsored; the drug maker also did their best to discredit independent studies which showed users of Yaz and Yasmin experienced greater risks of cardiovascular injuries and pulmonary embolisms than women on other forms of contraceptives. More and more studies have been published showing that Yaz and Yasmin pose a greater health risk to women than other contraceptives (including this study released by the FDA itself in late 2011), yet the two drugs remain on the market to this day.
When pharmaceutical companies ignore health risks in order to keep profitable, yet dangerous drugs on the market, unsuspecting users are frequently injured as a result. If you or someone you love has experienced negative side effects as a result of taking a combined hormonal contraceptive like Yaz or Yasmin, you need the help of a
pharmaceutical injury lawyer to find the compensation you deserve.
Contact a drug injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your case.