Yaz, Yasmin Pulmonary Embolism & DVT Settlements Likely to Top $1.2B

It appears likely that Bayer will end up paying more than $1.2 billion to settle lawsuits filed by users of their Yaz or Yasmin birth control pills who suffered certain blood clot injuries, such as a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis. However, that will still leave the drug maker facing thousands of cases nationwide.

According to updated information provided to investors this week in Bayer’s second quarter stockholders newsletter, the drug maker faces about 12,325 lawsuits brought by 13,530 claimant injuries allegedly caused by side effects of Yaz and Yasmin.

Bayer reports that they have agreed to pay $402.6 million to resolve approximately 1,877 cases without an admission of liability. The drug maker is settling Yaz lawsuits on a case-by-case basis with certain attorneys, after an individual review of medical records in the case.

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At this time, Bayer is only settling lawsuits that involve a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which are known as venous clot injuries. A DVT involves a blood clot that occurs in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot breaks off, travels through the blood stream and becomes lodged near the lung.

Bayer has notified investors that they currently face about 6,000 lawsuits involving these injuries. If the remaining cases resolve for about the same average value, that would suggest that Bayer will have to pay more than $1.29 billion to settle claims involving a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis.

However, this would still only resolve less than half of the cases Bayer currently faces, with most of the other claims involving women who allege that they suffered a stroke or heart attack caused by a blood clot while taking the drug, or who allege they suffered a gallbladder injury from Yaz or Yasmin.

Yaz and Yasmin Lawsuits Continue to Mount, Despite Settlements

The federal litigation over Yaz and Yasmin is currently consolidated for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon in the Southern District of Illinois as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

Although the number of settlements continues to increase, the drug maker is not keeping pace with the number of new lawsuits being filed by women who allege they suffered an injury caused by the popular birth control pills.

The Yaz and Yasmin MDL has recently grown to become the largest pending litigation in the federal court system, with the active number of cases surpassing the asbestos litigation, which was consolidated as part of an MDL in 1991.

When compared to the last update provided to shareholders after the first quarter of 2012, it appears that while Bayer has reached agreements to resolve more than 1200 additional cases, the total number of lawsuits facing the company has grown by more than 400, even after excluding the already settled cases.

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