Germany’s largest drug company, Bayer AG, has resolved to pay at least $110 million in order to settle about 500 lawsuits relating to complaints that its Yasmin birth-control pills cause blood clots. The settlement, reported by people familiar with the case, is the first resolution of any suit relating to the drug. Officials from the company have agreed to pay about $220,000 per case to resolve claims regarding its Yasmin and Yaz contraceptives. The information was revealed by two people familiar with the details but seeking anonymity as they have not yet been made public.
There were more than 11,000 lawsuits filed over injuries allegedly stemming from the two drugs. A suit accusing Bayer of misleading women about the health risks of its contraceptive pills was set for trial Jan. 9 but was postponed by a federal judge in Illinois in order to allow for negotiations, which seems to have ultimately prompted the $110 million settlement. Carl Tobias, a professor of product-liability law at the University of Virginia at Richmond, speculated that Bayer, “as a German company,” is hoping to avoid the costs of litigation in U.S. courts.
On April 10, the FDA had ordered Bayer and other makers of birth-control pills to make the blood-clot warnings on their products stronger. Researchers have found that one of the active ingredients in the pills may increase the risk for clots by more than three times. A spokeswoman for Bayer, Rosemarie Yancosek, has confirmed that some of the cases pending litigation in the U.S. are being settled. Bayer has also confirmed in a previous filing with the SEC that it has already settled at least 70 cases relating to the Yasmin line of contraceptives.
The company has faced a wave of lawsuits since 2009 and is reportedly expecting more, according to the Feb. 28 filing. If you or someone you know has an injury related to the Yasmin line of contraceptives, you may still be eligible to file suit. If you would like to speak with an attorney, please contact Altman & Altman, LLP at 800-481-6199.
Bayer Said To Pay $110 Million In Yaz Birth-Control Cases, Bloomberg News, April 13, 2012