According to a recent decision by the Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois will oversee and hear all drug defect cases brought to federal court involving the prescription birth control drugs Yaz, Yasmin, and any other contraceptive medications using the key drug drospirenone. The case, Multi District Litigation No. 2100, reflects state-to-state allegations by women using the prescription birth control drugs that the makers of Yaz, Yasmin, and other related drugs are liable for wrongful marketing and sales practices, resulting in products liability litigation.
Transferee Judge David R. Herndon of Southern Illinois will oversee all federal litigation involving claims against Yaz and related drugs. The decision to turn the MDL over to the Southern Illinois judge was announced on October 1, only seven days after the initial hearing to consolidate all cases into a MDL. This is significant in that it shows an urgency to develop clear and concise determination in the causes of injury and death, as well as the judicially-imposed responsibility of Bayer and other manufacturing companies.
The drugs Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella, and other related contraceptives have been linked to a variety of side effects, from mild cases of headaches and vomiting to serious instances of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. Originally prescribed for use in birth control, premenstrual pains, and mild acne, these drugs containing drospirenone cause an increase of estrogen and potassium in the bloodstream, and these factors contribute to complications that can lead to pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and the aforementioned strokes and heart attacks.
Within a week of the decision to accept all cases against Bayer and other related prescription drug manufacturers as MDL-2100, Bayer admitted that as many as 129 lawsuits had been served involving Yaz and Yasmin. As the cases will now cross only the desk of Judge Herndon, it is estimated that thousands of cases will be involved in this MDL in the coming months.
On average, Bayer earns $1.8 billion worldwide for the sales of Yazmin, and while cases and allegations continue to pile up, the prescription contraceptive is still readily available and continues to be the most used oral contraceptive in the United States. Bayer contends that many of the side effects that are involved in current lawsuits and allegations are stated clearly within all product warning labels.