Overview: Bayer reserved $1.5 billion last year to cover litigation related to its Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills, the company said in an annual report last week. According to Bayer, these reserve funds led to a drop in earnings. The money that has been set aside covers existing settlements as well as anticipated future cases for lawsuits alleging that the popular oral contraceptives caused blood clots and other injuries. So far, Bayer has already agreed to pay $1 billion to settle 4,800 lawsuits alleging that Yaz or Yasmin caused blood clots leading to heart attack, stroke and death.
- Bayer stated in annual report that they set aside $1.5 billion to cover the costs of Yaz and Yasmin litigation
- Bayer has already agreed to settle 4,800 cases alleging blood clots for $1 billion
- The company is facing over 10,000 lawsuits over the birth control pills; reports have continued to link drospirenone-containing contraceptives to an increased risk of blood clots
Product: Yaz®, Yasmin® (Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol)
Manufacturer: Bayer AG
Side Effects & Complications
- Blood Clots
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Gallbladder Damage
- Heart Attacks
Yaz Litigation and Settlements
Reuters reports that Bayer AG set aside $1.5 billion in 2012 to cover the cost of Yaz litigation, including existing settlements and anticipated future settlements over the oral contraceptives. The German drugmaker has already agreed to pay $1 billion to settle 4,800 claims alleging that the birth control pills caused blood clots, which subsequently caused heart attack, stroke and death. According to Reuters, there are currently 10,000 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits in addition to 1,200 claims that have not yet been filed in court, the report said. Lawsuits filed over Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills allege injuries such as blood clots and gallbladder damage. The company said that 3,200 of the unsettled claims alleged blood clots and related injuries, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Bayer has been faced with a wave of Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits since 2009. A multidistrict litigation has been established in the Southern District of Illinois before U.S. District Judge David Herndon.
Yaz, Yasmin Linked to Blood Clots
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the label on Yaz, Yasmin and other birth control pills containing drospirenone. The new label warns that the risk may be three times as high in women taking these types of oral contraceptives. A recent study funded by the agency also found that use of birth control pills containing drospirenone was associated with a 77 percent increase in venous thromboembolic events and a two-fold increased risk of arterial thromboembolic events.