Thousands of women have claimed that the oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin cause blood clots. As a result, some women say they have suffered heart attacks and strokes.

In addition to blood clots, others have claimed that the birth control pills cause gallbladder injuries. Some women say they were forced to have their gallbladders removed after taking the pills.

In comparison to other oral contraceptives, Bayer, the maker of the drugs, does not believe the birth control pills put women at a higher risk of suffering gallbladder injuries. Despite that, the company recently reached a $24 million settlement with women who say they suffered gallbladder injuries as a result of taking the pills.

Women who had gallbladder injuries will receive $2,000. Women who had to have their gallbladders removed will receive $3,000. As part of the conditions of the settlement, Bayer says that 90 percent of women who say they suffered gallbladder injuries must claim their portion of the award.

Bayer has faced intense scrutiny over the last four years. Since claims emerged that the birth control pills cause blood clots, the Food and Drug Administration has required the makers of birth control pills to put additional warnings on their labels.

According to the company’s annual report, Bayer has settled lawsuits with close to 5,000 women in the United States who claim they suffered blood clots as a result of taking the drugs. The company will reportedly pay out $1 billion as a result of those lawsuits.

People who suffer complications as a result of taking a dangerous drug may have to endure surgery and lengthy hospital stays. The physical scars may eventually fade. However, after going through such an ordeal, the emotional scars may never fully heal. The successful claims against Bayer show that companies can be held responsible when their drugs cause harm to innocent consumers.

Source: Thomson Reuters News & Insight, “Bayer agrees to settle Yasmin, Yaz gallbladder lawsuits,” Terry Baynes, March 20, 2013

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