June 22, 2012 - Bayer AG has reported that settlements of U.S. lawsuits claiming its Yasmin line of birth control pills caused blood clots have increased to approximately $142 million. The Leverkusen, Germany-based pharmaceutical giant has resolved some 651 cases alleging its blockbuster contraceptives caused life-threatening blood clots that have the potential to lead to heart attacks and strokes. In its April Stockholders’ Newsletter for the first quarter, the company said it paid out $142 million in the settlements, for an average of about $218,000 a case.
In May 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to the public after several studies linked the use of Yasmin to an increased risk of blood clots and other serious side effects when compared to other forms of contraception. Unfortunately, by the time the warning was issued, thousands of women had already suffered from these adverse health complications. Even otherwise healthy women can experience the side effects of Yasmin, which may include:
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - Type of blood clot that typically originates in the leg veins which can cause life-threatening conditions if they break off and migrate to other parts of the body.
Pulmonary Embolism (PE) - Potentially fatal condition that results from a blood clot which has become lodged in the lungs.
Heart Attack - Blood clots that travel to the heart have the potential to cause heart attacks and other severe coronary events.
Stroke - If a blood clot becomes lodged in the brain, a life-threatening stroke may result.
Death - Depending on where they travel in the body, severe blood clots have been known to be fatal.
While all birth control pills are associated with a certain risk of blood clots, Yasmin has been found to be significantly more dangerous than other types of contraception. A 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that Yasmin poses a three-fold increased risk of blood clots compared to other forms of birth control. This risk was increased by six times when compared to women from the general population who did not take any kind of birth control pills.
The main active ingredient in Yasmin, as well as its sister drug Yaz and generic Ocella, is a newer so-called ‘fourth generation’ synthetic progestin known as drospirenone. It is this progestin, when combined with estrogen, that has been shown to increase the risk for blood clots in users. This risk is thought to be greatest within the first weeks and months of taking Yasmin.
Bayer’s announcement about the Yasmin blood clot settlements came less than two weeks after industry insiders suggested that the drugmaker may have to pay more than $2.65 billion to resolve all the claims over its line of contraceptives. Bloomberg News reported on April 13 that Bayer agreed to pay approximately $110 million to settle the first 500 U.S. lawsuits over Yasmin, according to people familiar with the accords.
Since 2009, the German drugmaker has faced a perpetual wave of litigation over its best-selling line of birth control pills. Lawyers suing Bayer cited FDA reports of at least 50 deaths tied to the contraceptives from 2004 to 2008. Plaintiffs’ lawyers contend in court filings that Bayer officials marketed the birth control pills for unapproved uses and misled women about the drugs’ potential long-term health complications.
Michael E. Schmidt is recognized as one of America’s most passionate, accomplished and skilled trial lawyers. His law firm, Schmidt & Clark, LLP is currently accepting Yasmin lawsuits in all 50 states. To learn more about filing a Yasmin lawsuit, please visit his website: http://www.schmidtandclark.com/yasmin