Two brands of popular birth control pills — Yaz and Yasmin — are being blamed for causing blood clots that led to the deaths of 23 Canadian women, according to CBC News.
Doctors and pharmacists say that Yaz and its sister pill Yasmin have an increased risk of serious side effects, including deadly blood clots, like the one that killed Miranda Scott, 18.
"[Scott's] autopsy report did say that there was a pulmonary embolism
, which again is a blood clot in the lung," attorney Matthew Baer, who represented hundreds of Ontario women in a 2011 certified class action lawsuit against the pill manufacturer Bayer, told CBC News. "The major side-effect that we're alleging is worse with Yasmin than with the other oral contraceptives, is an increase of blood clots."
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Bayer has already paid more than $1 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits in the U.S., and the certified class action Canadian suit from 2011 did not find a fault against the company.
But one lawyer is seeking to certify a second class action lawsuit against Bayer with the new information from Health Canada.
Health Canada reported that the risk of blood clots, which is rare overall, is 1.5 to 3 times higher with Yaz and Yasmin because they contain drospirenone, a synthetic form of the hormone progestin, unlike other brands.
According to documents obtained from Health Canada, doctors and pharmacists have reported 600 adverse reactions and 23 deaths between 2007 and February 2013 where Yaz or Yasmin were suspected. More than half of the reported deaths were women under 26, with the youngest age reported as 14.
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Bayer has denied any wrongdoing.
"At Bayer patient safety comes first and we fully stand behind, Yaz and Yasmin," the company said in a statement.
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