North Carolina Dangerous Drug: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blames Yasmin and Ocella Contraceptives for Daughter’s Fatal Pulmonary Embolism

June 21, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Scott Prewitt is seeking North Carolina wrongful death and products liability damages from Bayer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Intendis. He is also suing Dr. William Bryan III, Asheville Children’s Medical Center, and Kelly Klaaren for North Carolina medical negligence. Prewitt’s 15-year-old daughter, Brittany Nicole died from a pulmonary embolism while taking birth control pills to treat her acne. A doctor had prescribed the medication to her.

Brittany Nicole was just 13 when she started taking Yasmin. The following year, the same dermatologist who had prescribed that birth control pill started prescribing Ocella, which is a generic form of Yasmin, instead.

Although the USDA has approved Yasmin for contraception, the pill is not approved for treating acne. While doctors are allowed to prescribe the medication for off-label purposes, the drugs’ manufacturers are not supposed to promote the drug for these uses. Prewitt claims that Bayer did just that when marketing Yaz to dermatologists and ignored the risks involved. He also says that he and his family read and watched media that led them to conclude that it would be safe for Brittany Nicole to use Yasmin and its sister contraceptive Yaz.

Prewitt is also claiming North Carolina medical negligence against Dr. Bryan, who saw his daughter after her knee became red and swollen on June 4, 2009. The doctor diagnosed her symptoms as “superficial cellulitis.” About two weeks later, physician assistant Kelly Klaaren looked at Brittany’s rash and diagnosed her with dermatitis. The teenager collapsed nine days later and was pronounced dead.

Drug manufacturers must follow FDA regulations. They also must make sure that they market the medications in a way that doesn’t prove dangerous and let consumers and medical providers know if there are any risks involved. Failure to do either of this can be grounds for a North Carolina products liability case.

Taking the Pill for Acne Was Fatal, Dad Says, Courthouse News, June 20, 2011

Related Web Resources:
US Food and Drug Administration


More Blog Posts:

Yaz Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Wrongful Death Teen Who Went into Cardiac Arrest While Attending Elon University in North Carolina, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 16, 2011

Another Dangerous Drug?: Woman Claims Humira Caused Permanent Nerve Damage, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 30, 2011

Republicans Propose Bill Protecting Drug Makers from North Carolina Products Liability Lawsuits, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 29, 2011


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