Attorneys General from 27 States Reach Settlement with Bayer Corp. over misleading TV ads for birth control product Yaz
On Monday, February 9, 2009, a settlement was reached between Attorneys general from 27 states (including the State of Florida) and Bayer Corp. over misleading TV ads that suggested the oral birth control pill Yaz was approved for and effective in treating PMS and acne. The settlement terms call for Bayer Corp. to spend $20 million correcting alleged misinformation in prior direct-to-consumer advertisements and submit all future proposed Yaz television ads to the FDA for approval prior to their release. An FDA warning letter to Bayer previously found that two of Bayer’s TV ads were misleading because the ads broadened the drug’s indication, overstated the efficacy of Yaz, and minimized serious risks associated with the drug. According to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, “Clear, concise and honest information from drug companies is vital for consumers to make informed choices about medications. Today’s judgment is an excellent example of the states and the federal government coming together to safeguard the public against false and misleading advertisements that adversely effect the health and well being of our citizens.” A provision of the settlement included the condition that Bayer denied any admission of liability, fault, or wrongdoing.