Swiss Health Insurer Joins Claim Against Bayer Over Yasmin Contraceptive Pill

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Swiss Health Insurer Joins Claim Against Bayer Over Yasmin Contraceptive PillCSS Insurance, Switzerland’s largest health insurer, is supporting a young woman’s claim against Bayer over the side effects of the Yasmin contraceptive pill.

The health insurance company announced that it will act as joint plaintiff with the woman and is seeking reimbursement for her medical costs, Reuters reports. According to Swiss media, a few weeks after Yasmin was prescribed, the young woman suffered a pulmonary embolism that left her severely disabled. To date, her medical treatment costs have run to 600,000 Swiss francs ($648,600).

German drug maker, Bayer, is facing numerous lawsuits over Yasmin’s side effects; so far, the company has agreed to pay $750 million to settle 3,490 legal claims in the United States that allege Yasmin caused blood clots. An additional 3,800 cases are pending in the U.S., Reuters said. In March, France will stop reimbursing prescription costs for some types of contraceptives, the result of a suit against Bayer over side effects.

Yasmin and other newer-generation contraceptive pills contain drospirenone, a synthetic progestin that had not been used in oral contraceptives prior to approval of Yasmin. Studies have linked drospirenone contraceptives to a higher risk of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. In April, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the labels for drospirenone birth control pills would be updated to provide stronger information about blood clot risk.

Bayer would not comment on pending lawsuits, but a company spokesman said that Yasmin had a positive risk-benefit profile based on extensive scientific data.