At Least 70 Women Will Receive Yaz Settlements
A national law firm has reported that Yaz manufacturer Bayer Healthcare has agreed to Yaz settlements in about 70 lawsuits. These cases were filed on behalf of women who had suffered from serious side effects like Yaz blood clots and Yaz pulmonary embolism. The total amount of these Yaz settlements is not yet known.
Bayer indicates Yaz settlements have been reached
In their 2011 Annual Financial Report, Bayer indicated in their legal risks section that some Yaz settlements had been reached. The details of settlement amounts have not yet been disclosed, but the company indicated that they will continue to review each Yaz blood clots lawsuit, and evaluate potential Yaz settlements on an individual basis.
News of the settlements comes on the heels of the order postponing the first bellwether trial in the current Yaz multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding in Illinois. In January 2012, Judge Herndon ordered both sides to sit down with special master Professor Stephen Saltzburg of the George Washington School of law for mediation.
It is not known whether or not the settled cases were part of the MDL, but the fact that Bayer has finally agreed to even a small amount of Yaz settlements bodes well for the other 11,000-plus plaintiffs.
Bayer feeling the pressure of studies on Yaz blood clots
Bayer has faced increasing concern over Yaz side effects like Yaz blood clots. In December 2011, an independent advisory panel announced that the Yaz warning label was insufficient, and should contain more information on the risk of Yaz blood clots.
An earlier FDA analysis of adverse event reports found that women taking Yaz were an increased risk of Yaz blood clots, while a Danish study reported that women on Yaz experienced twice the risk of Yaz blood clots as women taking other types of birth control.
Thousands of women filing Yaz pulmonary embolism lawsuits
Lawsuit complaints cite studies that indicate the progestin used in Yaz—drospirenone, a newer form than that used in older oral contraceptives—puts women more at risk for Yaz blood clots. All birth control pills carry a risk of blood clots, but studies have indicated that drospirenone increases the risk significantly more than older progestins.
Most women filing Yaz lawsuits claim that Bayer failed to warn about the dangers of Yaz blood clots, and should have done more to be sure that physicians and patients were aware of the increased risks. They also typically claim that Bayer inflated the benefits of these pills in their early advertising, convincing women to switch from other oral contraceptives.
Bayer has maintained that its products are safe, and has not admitted to any wrongdoing.