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Bayer Finland: We take responsibility for our products

The pharmaceuticals company Bayer says it accepts responsibility for its contraceptive products Yaz and Yasmin, which are suspected to be connected to deaths. A representative of Bayer Finland told Yle that the company doesn’t believe that any new fatalities will come to light.

Jasmin ehkäisypillereitä
Yasmin-ehkäisypillereitä. Image: Yle

Christer Strömberg, medical director of Bayer Finland told Yle in a morning television interview that hundreds of experts are continuously monitoring the side effects of its contraceptive pills and that it is unlikely that any new fatalities linked to the products will be reported.

“Of course we take responsibility for all of our products, and that is why we attempted to research them as well as possible before they came to market. Once they were on the market we monitored side effects very closely. I believe that we know of all the deaths connected to these pills. I don’t believe that there will be any more,” Strömberg emphasised.

According to the company spokesman the consumer does not assume complete responsibility for the medication because possible side effects are listed on the product packaging.

Responsibility not the consumer's

“The responsibility is never transferred to the user if he or she uses the medication as advised by a doctor. The product packaging only lists known side effects,” he explained.

Strömberg said that he hoped that possible new side effects would always be publicised. Since last summer, regular consumers have had the power to report observed side effects to the Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea.

The concept of a side effect was recently expanded to include outcomes related to incorrect doses and to use of medication for purposes other than originally intended.

In Canada more than 20 deaths have been linked to the contraceptive pills Yaz and Yasmin, manufactured by the German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer. The medication also caused four fatalities in Finland. No compensation settlements have been paid out in Finland.

Edit 14.6.: Bayer says it accepts responsibility for its contraceptive products Yaz and Yasmin, which are suspected to be connected to deaths. A former version of the text said Bayer says it accepts responsibility for the deaths linked to its contraceptive products Yaz and Yasmin.

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