According to a September 20, 2012 report from Reuters, Bayer’s new version of Yaz and Yasmin will be delayed pending reviews over the drugs’ links to blood clots. The new version is to come in patch form; the delay is mostly due to the drugs’ warning labels.
Bayer has already experienced numerous complaints against Yaz and Yasmin in pill delivery form that eventually forced the company to battle nearly 15,000 lawsuits that were filed against them over the pills’ many side effects. They have begun settling nearly 1,500 of those lawsuits to the tune of $400 million, and there are still thousands of lawsuits to deal with. Of the side effects that have been linked to Yaz and Yasmin, the most prominent include heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder disease, kidney stones and blood clots that can lead to pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis.
The main ingredient that causes these dangers in Yaz and Yasmin is a fourth generation synthetic progestin called drospirenone. Bayer has been accused mostly of failing to properly warn the public of the dangers associated with drospirenone use. The company has also been accused of purposely downplaying the dangers linked to Yaz, while promoting the pills’ off-label uses in their earlier ads campaigns. Original ad campaigns for Yaz and Yasmin did this by promoting the pills as “magic” cures for conditions like acne and PMDD. Yaz quickly grew to be the most popular oral contraceptive on the market, but that popularity was soon replaced by calls to have the pills recalled from the market after the side effects became public knowledge.
With so much controversy being caused by the pill form of Yaz and Yasmin, it almost seems insane for Bayer to try to release a patch version of the drugs. With clots being cited as their largest fear associated with the patch, a new panel advisory meeting may take place to review the dangers of a Yaz patch. With any luck, the panel will not make the same recommendations that were made in 2011. That panel opted to keep Yaz on the market and only enforce stricter blood clot warnings on the labels.