At least 23 Canadian deaths linked to contraceptive: Report

OTTAWA (AFP) - At least 23 Canadian women died and hundreds more may have been harmed taking the world's two most commonly prescribed birth control pills, the country's public broadcaster said on Tuesday.

Yaz and Yasmin oral contraceptives were suspected in the deaths by doctors and pharmacists who reported adverse drug reactions to Health Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) said, citing documents obtained from the government agency.

Their manufacturer, German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, is the target of lawsuits in Canada, the United States and elsewhere by women who claim they were harmed by this new generation of contraception containing a synthetic hormone called drospirenone.

Some 600 women prescribed Yaz or Yasmin in Canada reportedly suffered adverse health reactions.

Twenty-three died, including a 14-year-old girl, mostly from blood clots, according to the Health Canada data.

Bayer, which has already paid out more than US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) in settlements in the United States, will appeal the certification of the first Canadian class action lawsuit over Yaz and Yasmin, according to CBC.