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Letter 9: No Warnings

 

Dear Annie, 

 

You are buried in the same plot as your Grandma Ammons, who died several years

after you.

 

To honor your life we want to do so much more.  That’s why I am writing these letters

and sharing them with the world.  We want so badly to honor your life by first

informing the public and then effecting change.  We have learned a lot about

drospirenone birth control and about the U.S medical system.

 

Unfortunately, we have learned that the U.S. medical system is broken, and there is not enough outrage to make significant changes even though young women continue to die and be seriously harmed by Yaz and similar birth control products – apparently thousands each year.

 

Remember the children’s story, The Little Red Hen?  It is the perfect model to use to describe who is willing to help:

 

  • Not  our congress(wo)men (not even the  Maryland Senator who has a great reputation for standing up for women)

  • Not the Maryland Medical Examiner.  That office showed no scientific curiosity about why you -- a young women with an otherwise normal heart with no plaque in her veins and arteries -- died of a microscopic heart attack.

  • Not any lawyer we saw.  There wasn’t much motivation because parents in Maryland can sue for only a miniscule amount.  Why?  Because parents don’t lose financially when their children are killed. The horrendous grief we feel does not translate into financial damages, according to state law.  But without financial damages, how can Bayer be held accountable for their dangerous product?

  • Not the FDA.  They usually just listen to what the company says about their medical products, but with Yaz they did something unusual: they paid for a major study of tens of thousands of women.  The study found that Yaz and similar contraceptives are 50% more dangerous than other contraceptives.  But instead of taking these dangerous pills of the market, they only included stronger warnings buried midway in a label more than 30 pages long.

  • Not your pharmacy. They do not notify customers about Yaz interactions with common medications such as Ibuprofen.  In many states, they do not track which lot goes to which patient, even when there is a recall, as there was in the months you took Yaz.

  •  Not your health insurance company. They did not insist that the full warnings be in your individual monthly packets, so they were not.

  • Not the State Medical Board.  We asked them to examine your OB/GYN and your endocrinologist regarding your case. Despite their failure to correctly diagnose the eventually fatal side effects of Yaz, and their failure to warn you to get off Yaz or to show any urgency when you realized your symptoms were caused by Yaz, they were exonerated!

  • Not the media.  A few are brave enough to address the problem, but their interest quickly dissipates.  Even worse, the media interviews medical professionals who know nothing except what the company (in this case Bayer) espouses.  Are Bayer’s advertising dollars part of the problem?

 

Annie I am certain that you are asking Why?  Why? Why? Was my death permitted and WHY ? WHY? WHY? are young women still being tragically harmed and killed by drospirenone???

 

How much lies in drug company manipulation of our Congress, the FDA, doctors, and other opinion leaders?  Do we just need to follow the money to understand how this works?  Or is there just a lack of old fashioned common sense?

 

Love,

 

Mom