Bayer confirms Yaz lawsuit settlements
Bayer confirms lawsuit settlements in quarterly statement
  • Tue, 05/01/2012 - 11:46am

Bayer Pharmaceuticals, a Germany based company, has confirmed in its First Quarter 2012 Stockholder’s newsletter that settlements have reached $142 million, or $218,000 per cases, for lawsuits alleging Yaz and Yasmin caused blood clot related health risks including pulmonary embolism.

According to the report, Bayer has resolved 651 lawsuits alleging their drospirenone containing birth control pills caused blood clots related health risks that can lead to stroke and heart attack. Bayer currently faces more than 11,500 lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin complications. Lawsuits allege Bayer marketed Yaz and Yasmin for unapproved uses and failed to adequately warn about the drug’s risks such as stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and gallbladder disease.

In an FDA study examining 835,000 women, those taking birth control pills containing drospirenone face a much higher risk for suffering blood clots compared to women on traditional birth controls containing a different ingredient.  At least 25% of women suffered pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot is lodged in the arteries leading to the lungs. About 4,000 women suffered DVT, blood clots in the lower half of the body. Between 2004 and 2008, at least 50 deaths were caused by the birth control pills.

Last month, the FDA ordered Bayer and other birth control manufacturers update warning labels to include these risks.

Less than half of all lawsuits allege Yaz and Yasmin cause pulmonary embolism and DVT, however, these are the only lawsuits Bayer plans to settle after a case-specific analysis of medical records on a rolling basis.

Federal court cases were consolidated before U.S. Judge David Herndon of St. Louis, Illinois for pretrial proceedings. Initially Judge Herndon had several cases set for trial this year but decided to call Stephen Saltzburg, a law professor from George Washington University, to serve as mediator. More lawsuits are expected to settle for pulmonary embolism and DVT cases.


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