Monday, November 21, 2011

Bayer May Have Pitched Birth-Control Pill for Unapproved Uses - Businessweek

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Units of Bayer AG, Germany’s largest drugmaker, may have sought to market the Yasmin family of birth- control pills for unapproved uses and mislead women about the health risks the drug posed, according to company e-mails.

Bayer unit officials discussed promoting the contraceptive known as Yaz, a spinoff of Yasmin, for treatment of all types of premenstrual syndrome, according to company files provided to lawyers for women suing Bayer. U.S. regulators approved Yaz only for the most severe form of PMS. Salespeople for Bayer unit Berlex Laboratories Inc., acquired in the 2006 purchase of Schering AG, received an e-mail that year from a company official citing a Woman’s Day magazine article about Yaz.

“This article is a nice way of using YAZ for PMS treatment instead of just focusing on the specific” class of women battling premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the most severe form of PMS, wrote Matt Sample, a Berlex sales consultant, according to a copy of the e-mail.

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