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Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals: Blatantly Deceptive Marketing for YAZ and Yasmin


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The FDA has intervened on behalf of consumers three separate times in the last 9 years, addressing inaccurate and deceptive advertising practices around the marketing of Yasmin and YAZ oral contraceptives.

Yasmin and YAZ (as well as generic Ocella) contain drospirenone (DRSP), a different progestin compound than in other oral contraceptives (OC). Bayer and Berlex both marketed the new progestin as a clinically superior factor in their products, despite the lack of evidence of this superiority.

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The first instance of this misleading Yasmin marketing occurred in the television commercial entitled “Goodbye Kiss”. In the advertisement, a woman is pictured on various dates. She is looking for man with whom she has ‘chemistry'. The voiceover states, “Ask about Yasmin, and the difference a little chemistry can make”. This implies that the addition of DRSP progestin makes Yasmin clinically superior to other OCs when in fact that there is no evidence of this.

“Goodbye Kiss” also states, “The Yasmin birth control pill uses a different kind of hormone. One that may work with your body chemistry”. This statement alludes to DRSP being unique and therefore better than other OCs and that it offers benefits that other birth control pills do not offer. The FDA also objected to falsehood that “Yasmin may work with your body chemistry” because OCs actually work against body chemistry by preventing ovulation.

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Later, Bayer aired misleading YAZ commercials titled, “Not Gonna Take It” and “Balloons”. Both of these advertisements featured lists of symptoms such as: irritability, moodiness, bloating, feeling anxious, fatigue, and headaches. These symptoms are commonly found in women suffering from PMS, as well as PMDD. PMDD is a much more serious disorder. Neither commercial indicates that YAZ does not treat the symptoms of PMS, only those of PMDD, nor does it differentiate between the two. The commercials implied that, by taking YAZ, women would be free of all of the listed symptoms. No clinical trials have indicated that YAZ renders women symptom free. The ads also imply that women with acne will become clear-skinned. In actuality, there may be a reduction in acne for women with moderate acne lesions, not a complete eradication of acne.

Possibly the biggest issue with the marketing of YAZ and Yasmin is the minimization of the danger of hyperkalemia and other risks. In many of the advertisements, music and rapidly changing visuals are playing when risk information is being cited. These visual distractions may divert a viewer's attention from this vital information. This information should be presented clearly and identified as essential.

Lastly, Bayer's sponsored links on the Internet are misrepresentations of the efficacy of YAZ and completely omit any communication of risks associated with the drug. By omitting this information, YAZ gives the impression of being safer than it actually is.

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If you or someone you know has been deceived by Bayer's deceptive marketing tactics, contact a YAZ and Yasmin attorney today. If you would like a free Yaz/Yasmin lawsuit consultation from one of our lawyers, please fill out the form on this page or call us toll free at 866-761-1385.

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