With Yaz lawsuits already listed at almost 12,000, the newest complaint, which was filed on June 14, 2012 by Missouri resident Connie Highfill, has joined the Illinois MDL. Highfill’s lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
In her lawsuit, Highfill states that she started taking Yaz in October of 2003. By June of 2007, she says that she developed deep vein thrombosis that caused her permanent injury. Deep vein thrombosis is a known side effect of Yaz use that is caused by blood clot in the legs. Yaz blood clots have been the subject of much controversy as the condition can also cause a pulmonary embolism, which is also a known side effect of Yaz use. Other side effects linked to Yaz include heart attacks, strokes and gallbladder disease.
Yaz’s main active ingredient is believed to be the reason why Yaz is so dangerous. The main ingredient in Yaz is drospirenone, which is a synthetic progestin. The manufacturer of Yaz, Bayer, has steadfastly stood behind the fourth generation pills, stating that the pills are no more dangerous than older birth control pills that don’t contain drospirenone. Various studies and trials have proven this to be untrue. Even Bayer is slowly coming around. The company reached a settlement agreement in at least 500 Yaz lawsuits to the tune of $110 million ($210,000 per plaintiff) earlier this year.
While the settlement agreement was a step in the right direction, Bayer still has a long way to go before finally being held completely accountable for their drug’s dangers. Most of the lawsuits against the drug giant accuse them of being negligent in hiding the side effects of the pills from the general public and healthcare professionals. The failure to warn lawsuits have much merit behind them as even the company’s earlier marketing campaign for Yaz has gone under fire. In fact, the FDA forced Bayer to stop promoting the pills’ off-label uses (like being a cure for acne and PMDD) and to include the blood clot risks in their ads. But the updates came too late: Women all over the country were already suffering from Yaz-related injuries.