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Hundreds of women have instituted lawsuits against Bayer over its oral contraceptive Yaz. In August 2009, a study was published in the British Medical Journal, which found that Yaz and Yasmin had higher risks of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes than other contraceptives. According to some of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, most of their clients are young and healthy, with no apparent preexisting medical conditions, but they suffered serious side effects from Yaz.

Bayer has already been reprimanded by the FDA for its misleading advertisements for Yaz. According to the FDA, the ads promoted Yaz for unapproved uses, such as PMS treatment and acne treatment, as well as downplaying Yaz risks and overstating Yaz benefits. In response to the FDA’s warning letter, Bayer was required to run a $20 million "corrective" ad campaign. Bayer also recently received an FDA warning about quality control at a plant that manufactures one of Yaz’s main ingredients.

All birth control pills have a 99% efficacy. Yaz, its predecessor Yasmin, and its generic version Ocella all contain the synthetic progestin Drospirenone, which has been shown to have a high risk of clotting events. However, these contraceptives only carry a low risk warning. Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella are linked to pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, kidneyfailure and gallbladder disease.

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