Product News and Recalls

Swiss insurer supports claim against Bayer

Switzerland’s largest health insurer announced that it’s supporting a young woman who has filed suit against pharmaceutical giant Bayer, claiming the company’s Yasmin birth control pill caused a pulmonary embolism that left her severely disabled.

The insurer, CSS, will be a joint plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking reimbursement for medical expenses. According to a Reuters article, the young woman’s medical treatment has amounted to about $648,600.

She reportedly suffered a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot that travels to the lungs – a week after she began taking Yasmin.

While all birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, a number of studies indicate that pills containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone can increase that risk up to three times that of other oral contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

The article notes that the Yasmin line of contraceptives has caused trouble for Bayer in other countries as well.

In the United States, Bayer has agreed to pay a combined $750 million to settle 3,490 legal claims that the pills caused blood clots. A further 3,800 cases are pending. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added warnings to labels on the pills to reflect their higher risk of blood clots.

And in France, regulators intend to stop reimbursement for some types of birth control pills after a 25-year-old woman claimed a Bayer contraceptive caused a stroke that left her disabled.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.

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