Swissmedic, the Swiss agency that is responsible for overseeing the safety of medications, is currently investigating the safety of the birth control method Yaz. The investigation was launched after a woman died from a pulmonary embolism that is believed to have been caused from taking Yaz.
The Swiss investigation comes at the same time as 74 different lawsuits that have been filed in the United States against Bayer Healthcare, the company that manufactures Yaz. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families:
These groups argue that the drugs put women at higher risk for strokes, blood clots and other health problems than some other oral contraceptives. Citing warning letters FDA sent to the company, plaintiffs’ attorneys contend that Bayer was aware or should have been aware of the problems. These new concerns could “rattle consumer confidence” and harm the drugs’ image as the “go-to brands for women under 35,” according to some industry analysts, the Times reports.
You might be aware of Yaz because of the prevalence of TV ads about the drug, which the FDA mandated Yaz run to warn consumers about the potential side effects of taking Yaz. Yaz and its sister drug Yasmin are the two largest selling contraceptive drugs worldwide, bringing in $1.86 billion for Bayer in the first quarter of this year. Bayer’s representatives have responded to the lawsuits by saying that the drug is as safe as any other form of birth control.
If you take Yaz, what has your experience been like? If you’re a health care provider, what credence, if any, do you give to these lawsuits? Do you feel that Yaz is safe?