Small, Real Risk of Pill Subject to Lawsuit
In October 2007, 22-year-old Lisa collapsed on her apartment floor. The young girl remained unconscious until her father found her and rushed her to a nearby hospital. Lisa didn't remember the episode, so it is impossible to know how long she remained helpless.
Doctors discovered that Lisa had suffered a stroke. She lost function in her right arm, lost speaking ability, and is still unable to communicate. Her doctor believes that Lisa’s birth control caused a blood clot in her leg, a blood clot that later moved to her brain.
Lisa’s stroke illustrates one of the small but potentially tragic side effects associated with contraceptives.
Recently, the birth control brand known as Yaz or Yasmin has been the subject of a lawsuit along with their parent company, Bayer Inc. The Merchant Law Group LLP is suing them on behalf of a group of women who claim to have had damaging side effects from the pill.
In the U.S. alone, there have been 1,100 cases filed against the birth control company by individuals suffering from injuries reportedly caused by Yasmin or Yaz. Because the side-effects of the contraceptive may not have been stated strongly enough, the FDA has forced the pharmaceutical company Bayer Inc., to label the warnings clearer on the boxes.
Merchant Law Group, the law firm in line to sue Bayer, has received complaints about blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, gall bladder removals, and other serious medical emergencies because of Yaz and Yasmin.
"Yaz and Yasmin is a newer drug, relatively speaking, only around for a few years, unlike others like Alesse 21 or 28 around for about eight," said Dr. Imtiaz Hassam, medical director and family physician at the Yaletown medical clinic.
"All drugs in this category have a degree of risk involved and the pills are still available in Canada," said Hassam. "This affects everyone on a very personal and case by case basis, [but] we do not have enough information yet."
"It may not be a valid claim," Hassam said. "I have a number of patients on Yaz and Yasmin and I haven't heard [of] any negative aspects behind it. It just so happens that Yaz (and Yasmin) is a target [right now]."