Letter 6: From Sandy
I still remember the first time I heard about your story. I didn’t know anything
about what had happened to you. I just started reading Letter 1. From Letter 1,
I felt like I could picture who you were. But, when I read the last sentence, I knew
that this wasn’t going to be good news. You had passed away. I continued
reading letter after letter to find out what had happened to you. And then, I
finally learned what had taken you away from your life. It was due to a birth
control pill called Yaz.
I am still disappointed that you and your family haven’t received the justice you deserve. It also makes me think about other women and teenagers who may have been victims of Bayer’s birth control pills containing drospirenone. After reading this, I immediately asked my friends if they were taking birth control containing drospirenone and advised them not too.
To be honest, I am not sure which types of birth control are the best because there are so many options from many different companies! I would just follow my doctor’s prescription. But now I realize that may not be the right choice. Annie, you took your doctor’s prescription and even after your death, your doctor was not cooperative with your family to consider that your birth control was the reason for your death. I guess this teaches me that I have to be knowledgeable of what I put in my body, including medicine prescribed by my doctor.
What’s also ridiculous was how the medical examiner ruled your death as natural because it was a drug approved by the FDA. There was nothing “natural” about the cause of your death. It was caused by a drug that was ill-researched and approved.
You shouldn’t have passed away so soon, but your death was not for nothing. Annie, because of you, those who read your story will be inspired to raise awareness against drugs like Yaz. It will inspire others to take action against policies resulting in injustice, such as taking FDA approved drugs that shouldn’t have been approved so easily. It will inspire women and teenagers to be more aware of the birth control pills they are given by their doctors. Hopefully, it will inspire doctors to work together when a patient has unexplained health problems. Maybe the FDA will be more selective with the drugs they approve. Companies like Bayer might test their drugs more rigorously to reduce the side effects. And, hopefully, one day your family can rest easier, knowing that all they have done for you after your death has finally achieved justice and peace for you.
Because of you, I have become more cautious, and I've begun reading reviews and studies about things I’m considering buying, including prescriptions. Also, you have shown me that only you yourself will know about your own body. I tend to avoid going to any doctors, but now I will pay more attention to my body and seek help if something is wrong. I will continue to share your story with people I know. Thank you Annie for allowing a young woman, such as myself, to hear your story.
University of California LA, Class of 2016