Yaz Birth Control Lawsuit - Consumer Drug Report
Documents reveal three FDA advisory panel members previously worked for Bayer

The FDA Advisory committee, which voted against a Yaz® and Yasmin® recall during December, is being questioned about the validity of their voting decision.  The committee voted 15 to 11 that new generation birth control medications including Yaz and Yasmin, which contain progestin drospirenone, have more benefits than risks. Risks associated with the oral contraceptives include blood clots, gall bladder disease, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and much more according to complaints filed by women.

According to recent documents, at least three of the FDA Advisory panel members once worked for Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz and Yasmin. The documents reveal that these three members were highly praised as “Yaz champions.” Paula Hillard, who voted that the birth control benefits outweighed the risks, has worked for Bayer and is one of the members praised by Bayer as being a huge Yasmin advocate.

Another member, Anne E. Burke, a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview in Baltimore, Maryland, has had some of her research funded by Bayer and is known as a Bayer oral contraceptive expert.

The third member, Professor Julia V. Johnson, was involved in four research studies for Bayer as an investigator. She claims that she never received compensation for her work with Bayer.

Though the FDA knew about the three panel members prior work with Bayer, this information may not have been disclosed had it not been discovered during the Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits. Some suggest that the panel members’ prior connection with Bayer created a conflict of interest, thus altering the true validity of the members’ votes.

Bayer now faces over 10,000 lawsuits brought by women who allege they were injured by Bayer’s oral contraceptives. The federal judge presiding over these lawsuits has ordered the parties involved in the lawsuits to meet with an assigned mediator in an attempt to negotiate a settlement for the litigation. As a result, the first trial, which was initially scheduled to begin on January 9, 2012, has been pushed to a later date.


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