Yaz, Yasmin Linked to 23 Deaths by CBC Canada

The CBC reported this month that the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin were the suspect cause of death of at least 23 Canadian women. It's terrifying news, especially considering the two pills are the most common birth control taken in the world. Bayer HealthCare is no stranger to controversy over Yaz, which has been at the center of the "how safe is the pill?" debate since it first appeared on the market in 2006. Click on for a timeline of the pill's troubling saga: [Image: Getty Images]

2009 - FDA Eyes Realize Birth Control Lies

You may remember those first Yaz and Yasmin birth control ads. A group of beautiful gals let go of PMS balloons marked Irritability, Acne, and Anxiety; finally freed by Yaz. Apparently, the audience was like, sign me up, because Yaz became the #1 birth control pill in America, earning Bayer $800 billion dollars in its first year. That’s a lotta contraceptive cash. In 2009, however, sales dropped when Bayer was attacked for false advertising that glorified the pill’s alleged ability to virtually eliminate symptoms of PMS and cure acne. The FDA issued what was essentially an order for Yaz to not only pull the misleading ads but, in a rare move, also create NEW ads amending the false claims. Those new ads—which featured a hip doctor chatting with her friends about side-effects in da club—were required to list side effects ranging from depression to blood clots. [Image: Fotolia]

2012 - Settle Down Now

In 2012, a settlement was reached in a nationwide class-action lawsuit against Bayer for complications and deaths related to Yaz. The magic number? $402 million in settlements. And that’s just stateside: according to Businessweek in 2012, “Drug-industry analysts, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Richard Vosser, have said Bayer may have to pay more than 2 billion euros to resolve all the cases over the pills.” [Image: Getty Images]

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2013 - Health Canada Puts Yaz on Blast

The story of 23 Yaz and Yasmin-related deaths in Canada broke this June, putting the drugs back in the news. Harrowing personal accounts abounded, both in the CBC article and the comments section: “One of the women, 18-year-old Miranda Scott, was working out on an elliptical machine at the Okanagan gym at the University of British Columbia when she collapsed and died three years ago,” one comment read. [Image: Fotolia]

2013 and Beyond

As of this year, Bayer has already paid a staggering billion dollars in settlements for Yaz and Yasmin. Despite this egregious amount, Bayer stands by their product and continues to monopolize the birth control game. Somehow, there are no plans to recall Yaz or Yasmin, though hopefully Bayer will be pressured to remove the dangerous synthetic hormone “drospirenone,” which has been pointed to as the likeliest suspect of the blood-clot related deaths. [Image: Fotolia]