German drug maker Bayer AG has reached an agreement with most of its insurers on coverage of around $1.2 billion for litigation related to the 2001 withdrawal of a cholesterol-lowering drug.
In a statement Tuesday night, Bayer also said it had put aside 300 million euros ($369 million) in its 2003 fiscal year to cover additional settlements and defense costs. The insurers “had previously proceeded only on a provisional basis,” the company said.
Bayer pulled Lipobay, marketed as Baycol in the United States, in August 2001 after it was linked to a rare muscle-wasting syndrome and about 100 patient deaths.
On Tuesday, the Leverkusen-based company said it has now reached 2,224 cases related to the drug, paying out $842 million without admitting liability.
Another 9,948 cases were pending in the United States as of March 5, Bayer said.
“Where facts have been developed in the course of the litigation, it so far appears that the vast majority of plaintiffs did not suffer serious side-effects,” its statement said.