Dangerous Products

Yaz and Yazmin Birth Control Lawsuits Settled for Nearly $403 Million

In a newsletter to its stockholders, Bayer, the manufacturer of the Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills, has announced that it has settled 1,877 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits for a total of $402.6 million. There are still nearly 12,000 lawsuits pending against Bayer.
The Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits have been filed after women who’ve taken these birth control pills experienced serious blood clots. According to Bloomberg Business Week, “Since 2009, the German drugmaker has faced a wave of litigation over the birth-control pills. Lawyers suing the company cited FDA reports of at least 50 deaths tied to the pills from 2004 to 2008. Plaintiffs’ lawyers contend in court filings that Bayer officials marketed the contraceptives for unapproved uses and misled women about their risks.
The cases filed in federal courts were consolidated before U.S. District Judge David Herndon in East St. Louis, Illinois, for pretrial proceedings.”
Bayer is clearly anticipating future Yaz and Yasmin lawsuit settlements since it has put aside $610.5 million.
Since news of health issues surrounding the Yaz and Yasmin products first surfaced, the FDA has issued warnings that these birth control pill may triple the risk of blood clot issues among women who take these pills. Business Week further noted, “Pills like Bayer’s Yasmin, which contain a synthetic hormone called drospirenone, will have warning labels saying researchers found they may triple the risk for clots.
The FDA examined data on more than 835,000 women who took pills containing drospirenone, including Bayer’s Yasmin line, according to the FDA report. Yasmin was the No. 4 oral contraceptive in the U.S. in 2011, with 4.6 percent of the market as of September, according to data from IMS Health.”
In spite of the Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits and the serious health concerns, the pills remain a top seller and income generator for Bayer. In 2011, Bayer contraceptives generated $1.1 billion in sales.

Mercury Fillings Come Under Scrutiny

Consumer groups have demanded that dentists stop using a mercury-laden amalgam to fill tooth cavities. The FDA has promised to take the matter under consideration for further review. The FDA asked the panel to weigh in on whether the study — a review of 34 recent research studies — reflects current knowledge about the risks associated with the fillings. The FDA did not ask the panelists to discuss a ban.

Big Tobacco: 50 Years of Lies and Deception

Federal Judge Gladys Kessler called it racketeering. I’ll call it lying and deception. For more than 50 years big tobacco companies have been telling our grandparents, our parents, and now ourselves that smoking is cool and essentially harmless. Finally, a Federal judge has said no more. Big tobacco companies will now have to face the music and deal with victims of their deception and greed.

Boston Scientific Assumes Burden from Guidant

According to a recently published article in the Wall St. Journal, Boston Scientific now faces approximately 550 lawsuits regarding problems with its implantable heart defibrillators. According to the article, about 72 product-liability class-action suits and about 477 individual suits are pending in various state and federal courts against Guidant, Boston Scientific said in its quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Taser Settles Lawsuits

In a significant reversal of its previous public stance, Taser International, Inc. has decided to settle the lawsuits against it for $20 million. The settlements would eliminate cases pending before the US District Court in Arizona and the Delaware Chancery Court. The settlement would also mean that the company would be able to escape any presumption or admission of wrongdoing. The lawsuits began piling up after use of the stun gun resulted in many deaths.

Ford Truck Fire Danger

Last fall, Ford Motor Co. recalled 3.8 million of its vehicles due to faulty parts. Now, the auto manufacturer has announced that it will have to recall an additional 1.2 million trucks, vans, and SUVs. This is the largest auto recall in the industry’s history and is sure to effect consumer confidence in the popular Ford trucks such as the Ford F-150, F-250, and F-350 models.

Some Docs Say Hydrogen Peroxide Better Than Multipurpose Contact Lens Solution

Admittedly, it’s not as convenient as using a contact lens solution that cleans, stores, and rinses your contact lenses, but hydrogen peroxide is being touted as a potenitally safer method of maintinaing eye health.
When the crisis over ReNu with MoistureLoc solution first broke, most consumers just switched to another brand of multipurpose solution. However, as more studies are done, the entire group of multipurpose solution is coming under greater scrutiny.

Iowa Prof. Says She Told Bausch & Lomb About Problems with ReNu Two Years Ago

When the contact lens solution, ReNu with MoistureLoc debuted on the market in November 2004, University of Iowa clinical professor wanted to test the product’s effectiveness. What she found led her to call the company and tell them about its dangers. The public relations director dismissed her findings and stated that the product had been sufficiently tested. Two years later, we know the rest of the story.