On April 18, 2014, after a two-week trial, a Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court medical malpractice jury awarded $14 million to a woman who suffered a serious stroke thirteen days after she began taking the birth control medication Yasmin. The 37-year-old woman lost the use of the left side of her body as a result of her stroke, requiring her to use a wheelchair and requiring 24-hour care provided by her 44-year-old husband, who had to quit his job to care for his wife. The defendant was the physician who had prescribed Yasmin to the woman.
The same law firm that represented the woman in her lawsuit against the prescribing doctor also reported last month a $2.5 million settlement on behalf of the woman against a medical center.
Yasmin, as well as other pills containing drospirenone, are suspected of increasing the risk of strokes, pulmonary emboli, gallbladder disease, elevated potassium levels, and death in patients taking the birth control medication. One of the leading manufacturers of drospirenone, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, had settled drospirenone-related claims of over 8,000 patients who took Yasmin in the United States, as of July 2013. The cost of those settlements: $1.4 billion.
The FDA changed the labels for medications containing drospirenone in 2013, warning that such medications may be associated with higher risks of blood clots than birth control medications that do not contain drospirenone.
The FDA approved Yasmin in 2006 for use in the United States. In 2009, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals was required to address allegedly misleading advertising that led patients to believe that Yasmin could clear up acne and could be used to treat premenstrual syndrome (“PMS”). Beginning in 2010, lawsuits alleging that Yasmin caused an increased risk of stroke and heart attack were first filed in Canada.
The FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication on April 8, 2012, informing the public it had completed its review of recent epidemiologic studies regarding the risk of blood clots in women taking drospirenone-containing birth control pills. Based on its review, the FDA concluded that drospirenone-containing birth control pills may be associated with a higher risk for blood clots than other progestin-containing pills. Some epidemiologic studies reported as high as a three-fold increase in the risk of blood clots for drospirenone-containing products when compared to products containing levonorgestrel or some other progestins, whereas other epidemiological studies found no additional risk of blood clots with drospirenone-containing products. While the risk of blood clots is higher when using any birth control pills than not using them, the risk is lower than the risk of developing blood clots in pregnancy and in the postpartum period.
The FDA advised at that time that healthcare professionals should consider the risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing birth control pills and a woman’s risk for developing a blood clot before prescribing these drugs.
If you or a loved one suffered a stroke, heart attack, blood clot, or other serious injury while using Yasmin or another drospirenone-containing medication in the United States, you should promptly seek a drug claim attorney in your state who may investigate your drug claim for you and represent you in a defective drug lawsuit, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or telephone us on our toll-free line (800-295-3959) to be connected with drug claim lawyers in your state who may assist you with your defective drug claim.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.