The top-selling drug line for Bayer Healthcare includes Yaz and Yasmin, which are oral contraceptives that have been marketed as treatments for acne and premenstrual depression. Oral contraceptives alter a woman’s hormone levels, and using a combination hormone birth control pill has long been known to increase the risks of stroke and blood clots. Combination hormone pills contain estrogen and a progestin hormone. Yaz is the top-selling oral contraceptive in the U.S. However, the Yaz line has been drawing criticism from some health advocates, lawyers and researchers. According to the critics, the Yaz line carries a higher risk of blood clots and strokes, compared to other birth control pills. Such criticism is contradicted by a large Bayer-sponsored European study, which reached the opposite conclusion. However, the FDA has already asked Bayer to correct misleading advertisements for Yaz. Also, Bayer has been cited for failure to follow proper quality control procedures at one plant that manufactures a hormone.
According to Bayer, seventy-four lawsuits have been filed by women who used Yaz or Yasmin. These women claim that Yaz or Yasmin caused their health problems, such as blood clots and heart attacks. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits assert that Bayer knew or should have known that the Yaz line has higher risks of serious side effects.