Product News and Recalls

Yasmin settlements reach more than $402 million

According to a Bloomberg report, Bayer has said that settlements of U.S. lawsuits over its Yasmin line of birth control pills have reached more than $402 million.

The German pharmaceutical giant has resolved almost 1,900 cases involving allegations that its contraceptives caused potentially deadly blood clots, the company said this week in a stockholders’ newsletter. Bayer said it has paid $402.6 million in settlements of one category of clot cases, for an average of about $212,000 a case.

While all birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, a number of studies indicate that pills with the compound drospirenone carry up to three times that risk compared to other birth control pills on the market.

Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

Bayer also more than doubled its reserve for Yaz cases, Bloomberg reports, setting aside $610.5 million. The company set aside a total of $246.2 million in 2010 and 2011.

Bloomberg reports that drug-industry analysts have said Bayer may have to pay more than $2.5 billion to resolve all the Yasmin cases.

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Bayer and other contraceptive makers to strengthen blood-clot warnings on their labels. The agency issued that order after examining data on more than 835,000 women who took pills containing drospirenone.

Yasmin was the No. 4 oral contraceptive in the U.S. in 2011, and Bayer’s contraceptives generated $1.1 billion in sales last year, Bloomberg reports.

Bayer released its stockholders’ newsletter on the same day it raised its 2012 revenue and earnings forecasts, citing increased sales of crop chemicals and drugs as well as favorable exchange rates. The said revenue will gain about 4 percent to 5 percent this year to nearly $50 billion, excluding currency and portfolio changes. The company previously forecast a sales increase of about 3 percent.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.

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