Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills linked to 23 deaths, say Health Canada documents

TORONTO – Health Canada documents say the popular birth-control pills Yaz and Yasmin have been linked to the deaths of at least 23 Canadian women —the youngest just age 14.

Health Canada confirms the deaths are among about 600 adverse reactions reported among women taking the contraceptives between 2007 and Feb. 28 of this year.

Doctors and pharmacists who submitted the reports to the Canada Vigilance Program said Yaz and Yasmin are suspected in the 23 deaths.

The reports say most of the women died suddenly after developing blood clots.

Health Canada cautions that often it is not possible to determine if a reported adverse reaction results from using a specific health product because other factors could contribute.

Yaz and Yasmin, often characterized as “newer-generation” birth-control pills, are both made by Bayer, which has told CBC News in a statement that patient safety comes first and that it stands behind them.

The pills are the subject of a class-action lawsuit in Canada and there have been lawsuits in the United States.