Watson Pharmaceuticals has launched Vestura, a generic version of Bayer’s blockbuster birth control pill Yaz. Like their brand-name counterpart, these pills will also carry a safety announcement on their packaging, warning users that studies suggest the drospirenone-containing pills may put users at greater risk for developing life threatening blood clots.
Yaz, as well as the brands Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, and other generic varieties, combine the hormones drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. Yaz and its generic versions had sales of about $510 million last year alone. Watson hopes to take a bite out of those profits.
However, just as Watson was vying for space in the newer generation birth control pill market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was reviewing new studies that showed that pills that contain drospirenone were more likely to cause blood clots than older generation oral contraceptives.
Blood clots can be a dangerous medical condition. If blood clots break free and travel through the blood stream they can trigger heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolism.
Other studies have suggested that pills with drospirenone may also lead to problems with the gallbladder.
An FDA advisory panel opted not to ban the pills, instead recommended that stronger warnings be placed on the birth control pills’ packages warning women of the increased risk for blood clots.
The warning comes too late for many women who have become seriously injured or died after using the pills. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bayer by women who say they were never told that using the pills could be deadly.
BAYER®, the Bayer Cross®, YAZ®, Yasmin®, SAFYRAL®, Beyaz®, Aleve®, and drsp® are trademarks of Bayer.
Source: Drug Store News