In the first resolution over cases involving Yasmin birth-control pills, Bayer, Germany’s largest drug manufacturer will pay at least $110 million to settle over 500 product liability lawsuits alleging that the drug caused blood clots and wrongful death. This amounts to approximately $220,000 per case linking the drug to heart attack and stroke, according to officials.
The settlement occurred after an Illinois federal judge postponed a trial so that a mediator could try to work out a settlement between the victims, their families, and the drug company. The case was set for trial for more than 11,000 lawsuits that alleged injuries caused by the birth-control pill.
Experts believe that the mediation helps the company avoid the risks and costs of litigation. Bayer has already settled 70 cases involving Yasmin. The company is also expecting future lawsuits and will continue to settle on a case-by-case basis. Yasmin one of the most popular birth control brands and yields over a billion dollars a year in profits.
Birth-control is still considered a risk to consumers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Bayer and other contraceptive makers to strengthen blood-clot warnings on their products this April. According to the FDA, women on Yasmin were 74 percent more likely to suffer a blood-clot than women on other low-estrogen contraceptives. There were at least 50 deaths caused by Yasmin between 2004 and 2008.
Similar product liability claims on behalf of victims and their families can help to bring public awareness to dangerous drugs and aims to hold those companies accountable for injury and death to consumers.