Bayer has agreed to settle about 70 of the approximately 11,300 lawsuits against the drug giant involving its blockbuster birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, according to the company’s 2011 annual report. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Bayer reportedly said the conditions were reasonable.
The lawsuits were filed on behalf of plaintiffs who allege that using the oral contraceptives, as well as their generic equivalents Ocella and Gianvi, caused them or a loved one serious injury or death. The birth control pills contain the hormone drospirenone which recent studies have found put women at greater risk for blood clots than oral contraceptives containing older hormones.
The Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits allege that Bayer’s drospirenone-containing pills can cause heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolism as well as gallbladder damage, and that the drug company failed to warn users of those risks. Despite the studies, Bayer argued its pills were no more dangerous than other birth control pills.
The pending cases in federal court have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation in Illinois. Last May, the MDL judge denied a class certification. The first bellwether Yaz and Yasmin trials were scheduled to begin in September 2011, but the MDL judge stayed the first case and ordered the parties to mediation.
Bayer’s annual report says it expects more Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits, and will continue to “defend itself vigorously against all claims that are not considered for settlement.”
Source: Lawyers USA