Birth Control Pill Information that the Pill is Great Acne Medicine? Someone’s Going to Pay.
The drug companies are always in the news for their tort offenses. Remember how Pfizer got into trouble for knowingly selling defective Bjork-Shiley heart valves? Those heart valves began to explode once they were placed in people’s hearts. And everyone wonders when they hear about these stories; what do the FDA and the government do allowing drug companies to have all this power? Well they just swung into action over the Yaz birth control pill issue. Yaz is the most popular contraceptive pill in the country, and is made by Bayer. The company just sold half a billion worth of those pills just last year alone; it turns out that people may have been buying the pill for things other than simple birth control; and it appears that they have been doing so based on misleading birth control pill information in the advertising the company pumped out before.
You’ve seen these advertisements for Yaz before. Along with all the birth control pill information to give you, they also tell you that Yaz can easily be seen to be a drug for treating mood instabilities and acne. The FDA has indeed approved of Yaz for use against mood swings that you get during the year, and for treatment for moderate levels of acne. But you can’t just expect to use it like any standard off the shelf acne pill. It contains hormones that can give you heart problems. Just because the FDA approved it, was no license for the buyer to go out and start trumpeting it, adding a tagline like Beyond Birth Control and general positioning as a lifestyle accessory. In their ads, they clearly told you (with the Twisted Sisters playing backup), that with Yaz you can expect to have clear skin, and no problems whatsoever.
The FDA feels that there is no call to do this kind of a thing; only a small minority of women actually have these incidental problems. They can’t advertise it as if they would a health drink for children. Advertising that delivers birth control pill information usually does try to make it sound fashionable and fun to take these pills. The company that owned the Yaz drug before Bayer bought them out, did the same. But, the FDA is started to get tough on these people. They ordered the company to put out advertising that undoes the damage done by all the false birth control pill information they put out in the original campaign. And you do get to see it in the middle of hit shows on TV, apologizing for any misunderstandings there may have been.
No one really thinks that getting a major manufacturer to stand up and apologize for misleading birth control pill information is going to change anything. This is the way business is done these days, and the cost of putting out a little bit of advertising is hardly going to get them to change their ways. What does a little advertising cost anyway – $30 million? They easily made ten times that selling the drug to all comers who thought they were buying great acne medicine.