A class action lawsuit against global pharmaceutical giant Bayer is still gaining steam throughout Australia as hundreds of women continue to band together and allege medical negligence on the part of the company.
The allegations stem from studies that have shown use of Bayer's oral contraception drugs Yasmin and Yaz could cause serious medical problems, including life-threatening blood clots and stroke.
The drug's safety was initially questioned in a 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal, which demonstrated how use of the drug raised a woman's chance of developing a serious blood clot by a factor of three.
The movement has been building in Australia for a few months now, with more than 600 women currently involved in the suit. Legal experts say a similar lawsuit first originated in the US, and the success of these suits has likely led more women to consider it in Australia.
Lawyers who have worked with those who developed health problems after taking the drug say many women have suffered serious health problems because of it.
One lawyer even told ABC that he was "highly surprised by the number of women who have already been in contact" with his firm, and that he was sure there were "a lot of people still out there that haven't come forward".
Bayer's alleged medical negligence has serious real world effects
Women all over the country are beginning to recount their horror stories after taking Yaz or Yasmin. One former user, Kelly Lee, said she suffered a stroke shortly after starting her oral contraceptive regimen.
"I want that pill to be off the market so the thing that happened to me doesn't happen to anybody else," she told ABC.
"I just want the lawsuit to go ahead so you know they stop making this pill."
These aren't isolated incidents, either. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has cited two reports that show how Yasmin and Yaz can increase the risk of blood clots in women.
However, at this stage, it has not taken any moves to remove or restrict the sale of either product. This could change in the future, though, as the group said it plans to "closely monitor and assess" all new information that becomes available on the drugs.
Those who may have suffered from the adverse effects of oral contraceptives may want to consult with a medical negligence lawyer to determine what legal options are available.