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Yasmin Lawsuits: Is the Drug's Manufacturer Playing Dirty?

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San Antonio, TXReports have surfaced that the number of Yasmin and Yaz lawsuits has doubled to approximately 2,000 nationwide. The lawsuits allege that the birth control pills cause serious side effects including blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and embolisms. Plaintiffs in one lawsuit have complained that Bayer, maker of Yaz and Yasmin, is not providing documents in a proper manner.

According to the Record on 7/29/10, Bayer has reportedly turned over more than 10 million pages of documents related to the lawsuit, but the plaintiffs have complained that those documents are virtually impossible to work through.

"Janet Abaray of Cincinnati said she could never find an entire document from beginning to end with all attachments," the Record reports. "She said things clumped together, search capacity didn't work, and components were not properly coded." An attorney for the plaintiffs noted that he had no information on whether Bayer purposely provided complex documents because he did not take depositions about it.

BNET, a CBS website, reports that there are 400 cases in a New Jersey state court.
Sales of Yaz dropped 15 percent after Teva started selling its generic version of Yaz in June.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been filed in Canada against Bayer, alleging that users of Yaz and Yasmin were not adequately warned about the risk of strokes and gallbladder problems. One plaintiff, Christine Lovelace, says she developed symptoms including heart palpitations, racing heart and unusual menstrual changes after starting Yaz. Lovelace eventually had a mini-stroke (known as a transient ischemic attack).

"I went paralyzed al down my left side and I lost my ability to communicate," Lovelace says, as quoted by CTV News on 3/10/10. "It was terrifying."

Some women have undergone surgery to remove their gallbladder due to gallstones that developed after using Yaz and Yasmin.

The lawsuit in Canada alleges that Yaz and Yasmin carry higher risks compared to other brands of birth control because of the use of drospirenone in the drug's formulation. Drospirenone can reportedly increase the level of potassium in the blood, which, studies suggest, can lead to problems with the patient's heart rhythm.

The lawsuit further alleges that patients were not adequately warned about the risk of serious injury associated with the use of Yasmin and Yaz. Bayer maintains its drugs are safe and effective when used according to the product labeling.

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