After our story last month we were flooded with more horror stories one of them from 53 year old Annie Cleland.
"It was life threatening. It was very serious. At any moment that clot could have let go and killed me ...” Said Annie Cleland.
Annie says she was told by doctors her side effects were unusual, she didn't believe them.
“Put it in my search engine on my computer and the whole thing just exploded with women who had had problems. They'd had pulmonary embolisms, they'd had clots in their legs, they'd had strokes - they'd had blindness - ongoing problems ever after and i was horrified that there could be a drug on the market that could do that to people and a company would actually promote it and allow that to happen to people," Said Annie.
Before and after our story went to air we contacted the Bayer Pharmaceutical Company for comment. Bear in mind they've already paid out more than 750 million to settle claims in America. Here's what they told us:
NO BAYER REPRESENTATIVE SHALL BE APPEARING ON TODAY TONIGHT IN RELATION TO THIS MATTER.
BAYER'S POSITION WILL NOT CHANGE SO PLEASE DESIST FROM CONTACTING ANY BAYER REPRESENTATIVES IN FUTURE FOR INTERVIEWS ON PROGRAMS CONCERNING THIS TOPIC.
One thing the company did do was to email general practitioners discrediting not just our story but Dr Kerryn Phelps as well.
"This letter went to every GP in the country saying that the national tv segment contained irresponsible and inaccurate claims well what were the inaccurate and irresponsible claims. For me I find this insulting this response from Bayer is inadequate it is heartless and it is irresponsible for them not to actually acknowledge and take responsibility for the damage their product has done to Australian women," Said Dr Kerryn Phelps.
Just 13 days before our first story went to air 17 year old Lakota Connell died of a massive blood clot... Leaving behind mum Toni and twin sister Jo-Dene. She'd been taking Yaz for 3 months.
"I'm as wild as and I'm absolutely devastated ... .... are you angry this drug is still on the market? Furious I've been doing a lot of reading and from what I see it's probably one of the most heinous things especially for young women, Lakota was only 17 ... 17 in 19 days,” Said Toni.
"It's absolute devastation because after all Lakota fought for in her own private way she had no way of fighting this she almost from the time they got her into ICU I was told she was on the wrong side of dark and there was very little chance," Said Toni.
Lakota was a fighter in 2010 she survived and recovered from a liver transplant ... Almost 3 years later her life was back to normal ... She was at school, she had a boyfriend, she was happy. There was no sign of what was to come. It surprised even her doctors.
"He said to me this should never have happened they were totally taken aback and the fact that it took her within 24 hours ... how big was the clot? 60cms." Said Toni
Just three months before she died Lakota had MRI and ultrasound scans. This letter from Queensland Health confirms there was no sign of any clot. And it goes on to say the oral contraceptive she was on was a likely contributing factor in her death. The Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane has now reported Lakota's case to the Therapeutic Goods Administration and they're also reviewing every single female patient that's on the drug.
Lawyer Peter Humphries is representing Annie Cleland, one of many women who will form part of a class action.
"It's early days and we're still gathering information but I think it's more likely than not that there will be class action preceeding issues against Bayer in the not too distant future." It will be a matter of mounting a case on the basis that Yaz for reasons which are pretty well known - that it has a different chemical compound as to most contraceptives - that that does cause an elevated risk of blood clotting." Said Peter
"I would describe them as mercenary. I think they have taken an educated view on how many people will be hurt by this drug but they know that they can reap the money for it before they're accountable." Said Annie
"There's absolutely no empathy or compassion for the women who have lost their lives, for the women who have been hospitalised who have been disabled for the rest of their lives because of the side effects of this drug 0322 and the problem is they are still saying its not worse than any of the others and its' not as dangerous as pregnancy which really is not the answer Australian women deserve or expect." Said Dr Phelps
"What you say to bayer if you had the opportunity to meet with them what would you say? take it off the market, get it out of here its cost me my childs life, it's wrong. someone asked me on facebook how do these people sleep at night and my only answer was on million dollar mattresses." Said Reporter and Toni
(http://www.dbh.com.au/yaz-class-action.html "Duncan Basheer Hannon")