Pharmaceutical manufacturer Bayer is facing thousands of lawsuits questioning the safety of its birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin. The pills, which contain a combination of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, have been found in studies to put women at greater risk for life threatening blood clots than oral contraceptives with other types of hormones. Both Yaz and Yasmin have generic equivalents, which leaves some women questioning whether generic brands are safer than the brand name drugs.
Generic drugs are what the Food and Drug Administration calls “copies of brand name drugs that have exactly the same dose, intended use, side effects, route of administration, risks, safety, and strength as the original drug.” However, the generic version, by law, is not entirely the same. It may have different colors or inactive ingredients. About half of all generic drugs are produced in the same plants used to manufacture the brand name drugs.
Yaz contains 3mg drospirenone and 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol. Bayer offers the same formulation in Beyaz, a birth control pill that also contains the B vitamin folic acid. Generic versions of Yaz made by other manufacturers include Gianvi and Loryna.
Yasmin contains 3mg drospirenone and 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol. Bayer also offers a folic acid-fortified version of Yasmin known by the brand name Safyral. Bayer also offers a generic Yasmin by the name of Ocella. Syeda and Zarah are more generic brands of Yasmin sold by other companies.
While all birth control pills put women at risk for blood clots, new studies show that drospirenone-containing pills put women at even greater risk. This includes Yaz and Yasmin, but also the numerous generic brands. Using a generic version of a medication does not mean, if you have been injured, that you are not eligible for compensation.
However, a recent Supreme Court ruling determined makers of generic drugs are not required to warn patients if they receive reports of new side effects from the drugs. This ruling can protect generic drug makers from being sued under state liability laws for failing to warn patients of these new dangers. If you have been injured by a generic drug, it is important to talk to your lawyer about how this ruling may affect your rights to justice.
Beasley Allen Law Firm is currently investigating cases of women who have suffered blood clots, heart attacks, strokes or gallbladder damage after using any drospirenone-containing birth control pill.