Bayer Continues to Settle Yasmin Lawsuits – Payments Top More Than $402 Million

One of the top-selling contraceptives in the United States, Yasmin, continues to face lawsuits potentially worth millions of dollars by women claiming that the pill caused blood clots as well as other harmful side effects.

Yasmin, first introduced in the early 2000s, was originally manufactured by Berlex, Inc. In 2006, Bayer acquired Berlex and the drug while also introducing its own version of the pill, marketed as Yaz. The pills were nearly identical. A generic version of the contraceptive, known as Ocella, is available now.

Bayer, based in Germany, has been working through claims, and to date has reached settlement agreements that top $402 million. The cases that have been settled so far have recovered an average of about $212,000 each. Additionally, the company states it has beefed up its reserve funds to use for settling future Yaz cases by putting aside $610.5 million.

Yasmin-lawsuitThe Federal Drug Administration examined data on more than 835,000 women who took contraceptive pills, like Bayer’s Yasmin, that contain a synthetic hormone known as drospirenone. Although the contraceptive is a combination therapy, using drospirenone and estrogen, the issues surrounding the recent cases focus on drospirenone and its effect on the cardiovascular system. Recent reports of adverse events forced the FDA, in April, to notify Bayer and other contraceptive manufacturers that their products must contain a stronger blood-clot warning label.

Claims related to the pills began to pour in during 2009 after FDA data revealed at least 50 deaths related to the contraceptive pills from 2004 to 2008. According to a company-issued stockholders’ newsletter, Bayer has faced more than 12,000 lawsuits from women claiming that use of the pills caused blood clots in some and caused gallbladder damage in others. Bayer does not agree with the gallbladder damage claim but is addressing the blood clot claims after review.

As the company works through the wave of claims, it has so far resolved more than 1,800 of the cases filed against its Yasmin and Yaz oral contraceptive products, alleging the drug caused blood clots that could lead to stroke or heart attack. Bayer is continuing to talk with plaintiffs and their lawyers to reach additional settlements.