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70 Yaz Side Effects Lawsuits Settled as of February, Bayer Says

Mar 12, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

The first Yaz side effects lawsuits have reportedly been settled. According to Bayer's latest annual report, the company had resolved 70 lawsuits alleging the Yaz birth control pill caused blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and other serious side effects as of February 13, 2012. 

According to the "Legal Risk" section of the  annual report, more than 11,300 lawsuits have been filed over its popular Yaz and Yasmin contraceptives, as well as generic versions of the drugs, Ocella and Gianvi.  Bayer also stated that it expected more Yaz and Yasmin lawsuit filings in the future.

Bayer did not disclose the terms of its Yaz lawsuit settlements, but said it did not admit to any fault.

In December, a panel of advisors for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommended stronger label warnings for Yaz, Yasmin and similar oral contraceptives regarding their possible association with blood clots.  The outside advisors voted 21-5 that current label warnings for Yaz, Yasmin and other pills made with the progestin, drospirenone, are inadequate and need to include clearer information about data that have linked the pills to a higher risk of blood clot.  The vote followed the release of several large studies that pointed to a higher risk of blood clots with pills like Yaz and Yasmin, compared to those made with an older form of progestin.

Most of the Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits filed against Bayer are pending before Judge David Herndon in the Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2100) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The lawsuits claim Yaz, Yasmin and similar drugs caused young women to suffer dangerous blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary emboli, gall bladder disease and other serious side effects. 

Late last year, Judge Herndon appointed a special master in the litigation, ordered both sides to meet with a mediator to discuss possible settlement of Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits.  Judge Herndon also indefinitely postponed the bellwether, or test, trials that were supposed to have started in January in that litigation.

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