Product News and Recalls

Yaz lawsuits affect Bayer profits for 2nd quarter

Bayer’s second quarter earnings are down, largely because of costs associated with settling lawsuits from consumers who claim the pharmaceutical giant’s Yasmin line of birth control pills caused health problems, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports.

Despite the lagging profits, however, the company said global sales for the quarter jumped by 10 percent to a record $12.5 billion on strong performances by all three of the company’s business segments. Crop sciences revenues was up 17 percent, health care increased by 10 percent, and material science rose 6.5 percent.

In North America, second-quarter sales totaled $3.2 billion, up 11 percent from a year ago.

Bayer has reportedly set aside more than $615 million to settle claims related to its Yasmin line of birth control pills, which also include Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

All birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, as can pregnancy. But a number of studies indicate that the Yasmin pills, which contain the synthetic hormone drospirenone, carry up to three times that risk compared to other oral contraceptives on the market.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuits allege that Bayer intentionally concealed the higher blood clot risk from users.

A report in the Economic Times quotes Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers as saying he doesn’t expect the company to go bankrupt anytime soon.

“Following the good business performance in the first half of 2012, especially at the crop science and healthcare divisions, we are … confident for the second half of the year,” Dekkers said.

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.

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