A new study released this year suggests that the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin are just as safe, and no more likely to cause blood clots, as other types of oral contraceptives.
The only problem is, the study was funded by the company trying to sell the drugs, and is disputed by years of independent research.
The new study, published in the journal Contraception, followed records of more than 85,000 women taking birth control pills for 2 – 6 in Europe and the United States.
With an error rate as high as 5%, the study found that combined oral contraceptives like Yaz, which contain both estrogen and the progestogen hormone drospirenone, had similar side effects with contraceptives that didn’t contain drospirenone, or used levonorgestrel instead.
It’s important to note: the study didn’t even say Yaz is safe; it merely stated that it is only as dangerous as other contraceptives.
The market for oral contraceptives is worth billions of dollars each year, with more than 12 million women using COCs. For years, Bayer has been seeking a solution to sinking sales numbers with its once-popular Yaz/Yasmin/Beyaz brand.
They didn’t hesitate to issue a press release proclaiming that this study showed their drugs are as safe as others.
However, the list of experts warning about Yaz blood clots is long: Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Health Canada, the Britsh Medical Journal, the FDA and the European Medicines Agency have all linked the drug with blood clots.
The publishing journal, Contraception, even assigned a conflict of interest warning to the research.
Clots have the potential to cause severe damage to the heart, lungs, brain or extremities. Victims are often hospitalized or worse.
Over 20,000 blood clot cases related to pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis have been reported to the FDA for Yasmin and Yaz.
And, despite Bayer’s position that their drugs are safe, they’ve now paid out over $1.8 billion to victims. Lawsuits are still being filed for those injured. Lawyers warn the cases could expire soon and those injured should take action quickly.
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.