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Bayer Settling Yaz, Yasmin Lawsuits

Filed April 12th, 2012 Laurie

Bayer AG, Germany’s largest drugmaker, will pay $110 million to settle about 500 lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who say the firm’s oral contraceptives, Yasmin and Yaz, caused blood clots. It is the first settlement over the product, according to those familiar with such agreements. On average, Bayer will pay $220,000 per claim.

Plaintiffs claim the birth control pills caused sometimes fatal blood clots that caused heart attacks and strokes. The people sought anonymity because the accords haven’t been made public. The case was the first of its kind set for trial out of more than 11,000 lawsuits over injuries allegedly caused by the contraceptives.

On April 10, the Food and Drug Administration ordered Bayer and other drugmakers to strengthen warning labels. Yasmin and other drospirenone-containing drugs like it will now have new warning labels that say researchers found they may triple blood clot risks.

The Yasmin cases filed in federal courts were consolidated before U.S. District Judge David Herndon in East St. Louis, Illinois, for pretrial proceedings. Herndon scheduled a series of jury trials for early this year so the juries could determine if Bayer and its units marketed Yaz and other contraceptives as safer than rivals’ products while knowing they posed a higher clot risk.

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