(August 3, 2012) – Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against German drug maker, Bayer AG, due to blood clots being linked to their oral contraceptives Yasmin and Yaz. Bayer AG has settled these lawsuits for $402 million to date, as reported by the company in a July 31, 2012 stockholders’ newsletter.
The $402.6 million is the result of the settling of approximately 1,900 cases in one category of blood clot cases, as reported by Bloomberg Business Week. This is an average of $212,000 per case. Bayer stated that it has put aside $610.5 million for Yaz cases, double its reserves in 2010 an 2011.
A prescription medication that causes blood clots is very serious because the blood clots can lead to heart attacks and strokes, which can be fatal. A study published in the British Medical Journal in October 2011 found that pills that contain the synthetic hormone drospirenone, such as Yaz and Yasmin, increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) six to seven-fold. Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of blood clots in the leg that can travel to the lungs. Drospirenone can increase potassium to dangerous levels, known as hyperkalemia, which is a condition involving serious and potentially fatal heart problems.
Side effects of drospirenone are blood clots, pulmonary embolism, gallbladder disease, gallbladder damage, kidney stones and renal failure. Many of these conditions can be life threatening.
Bayer was facing more than 12,000 lawsuits over Yasmin and Yaz, with claims linking the oral contraceptives to blood clots and damaged gallbladders. However, Bayer has only agreed to settle the cases that are linked to the clots. Drug-industry analysts, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Richard Vosser, have said Bayer may be forced to pay billions to resolve all the cases over the contraceptives.
In April the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Bayer and other contraceptive makers to strengthen blood clot warnings on their product, especially during the first year the medicine is taken.
Bayer’s settlements from a Yaz MDL are underway in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. In an MDL, lawsuits with similar claims are consolidated to save the court’s time. Even though the evidence and testimony will be shared among the cases, each plaintiff retains the right to an individual trial with a separate judgment or monetary settlement.
Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).