Attorney General John Kroger today announced a settlement requiring Bayer Corp. to conduct a national $20 million corrective ad campaign for misleading consumers about the uses of its oral contraceptive Yaz in violation of a 2007 multi-state settlement.
The pharmaceutical company also must submit future television ads promoting Yaz to federal regulators for pre-approval.
“If big drug companies break the law, we will hold them accountable,” Kroger said.
The Oregon Department of Justice is a national leader in protecting consumers from illegal pharmaceutical marketing. The department has led a multi-state legal fight that has forced drug-makers and other companies to pay more than $280 million in settlements since 2007. The department’s leadership has brought more than $13 million to Oregon in the last two years. Pharmaceutical companies that have paid settlements include Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Merck, Purdue Pharma and Bayer. The illegal marketing campaigns promoted Bextra, Zyprexa, Vioxx, Baycol and Oxycontin.
Oregon led the most recent effort against Bayer, which improperly promoted the uses of Yaz to include symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Yaz does not have federal approval for treating PMS, but it is approved for a more serious condition. Bayer also overstated the effects of Yaz on acne.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and 26 other states were part of the latest Bayer settlement. It was the first time the FDA has cooperated with states in a drug-marketing case. Assistant Attorney General David Hart handled the case for the Department of Justice.
Consumers with questions about the Bayer settlement or other consumer protection issues in Oregon should call the Attorney General’s toll free Consumer Protection hotline: 1-877-877-9392
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org