People are used to hearing bad news about the controversial birth control medication Yaz. A variation of Yasmin, Yaz is one of the flagship medications of medical giant Bayer. Now, a family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Bayer, claiming that Yaz was responsible for the death of their daughter.
On her way to classes one morning at Elon University in North Carolina, Michelle Pfleger collapsed without warning. An emergency team arrived and rushed her to a nearby hospital, but all efforts to revive her proved futile, and she died the same day. The subsequent autopsy revealed that the cause of death was due to cardiac arrest caused by a pulmonary embolism — a blood clot that ends up in the lungs, leading to exceptionally low blood pressure, which frequently is fatal.
Joan Cummins, Pfleger’s mother, said of her daughter, “One day she was a freshman at college so full of hope and promise and the next she was gone.”
“Yaz is a dangerous prescription drug sold without adequate warnings about the risks of serious and fatal injuries,” Cummins’ attorney said in a release. “Bayer failed to warn doctors and patients that Yaz poses a greater risk of serious side effects than previous generations of oral contraceptives.”
This filing comes on the heels of two recent studies published in the British Medical Journal which linked drugs based on drospirenone to a double or even triple risk of developing blood clots, specifically clots of the type that killed Pfleger. Yaz and Yasmin are based on drospirenone.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, May 10th. There is as yet no word on when first hearings are scheduled to occur. Bayer had not released a comment on the case as of the time of this writing.