Bayer Could Pay Over 2 Billion in Yaz Settlements
Bayer, the maker of Yaz and Yasmin oral contraceptives, recently announced that it has already paid more than $402 million in Yaz settlements. The company further commented that it had already set aside $610.5 million to settle pending cases, though experts believe Bayer could end up paying up to $2.5 billion as compensation for Yaz injuries.
Meanwhile, Yaz lawyers are eager to begin trying some of the more serious cases, which involve arterial blood clots. To date, Bayer has only settled lawsuits alleged blood clots in the veins, a less serious condition than clots in the arteries.
Bayer has already paid $402 million in Yaz settlements
In July 2012, Bayer announced that U.S. Yasmin and Yaz settlements have climbed to over $402 million – nearly triple the $142 million previously reported. Bayer, which is based in Germany, faces at least 12,000 national lawsuits that allege blood clots leading to heart attack and stroke. Reportedly, almost 1,900 cases have ended in compensation for Yaz injuries, which averages almost $212,000 per complaint.
Bayer commented that it had reserved $610.5 million for Yaz settlements. The new figure is more than double the $250 million the company had set aside in 2010 and 2011. A spokesperson for Bayer stated, “We believe we have made appropriate provisions for most of the cases we consider to be worthy of settlement with these accounting measures.”
However, independent industry analysts, including Richard Vosser of JPMorgan Chase & Co., have estimated that Bayer may shell out up to $2.5 billion in compensation for Yaz injuries.
Yaz lawyers wait to try most serious cases
Between 2004 and 2008, more than 50 deaths were allegedly attributed to Yasmin and Yaz. These fatalities, as well as other side effects including blood clots, led to the first wave of lawsuits. Litigation against Bayer has slowly unfolded over the years, and these recent settlements mark a step forward.
Carl Tobias, a product-liability law professor at the University of Richmond, stated to BusinessWeek, “This indicates they are making progress putting these Yaz suits over the vein clots behind them.”
BusinessWeek also quotes a Denver-based attorney who represented women in Yasmin cases noted that Bayer had only settled cases of blood lots in the veins, not arteries. He explained, “Those cases involve some of the more serious injuries and we look forward to trying them.” Additionally, pending cases also involve accusations of gallbladder damage and gallstones.
Bayer notes increased profits despite legal problems
Despite the company’s legal woes, Bayer expects to see a 4% to 5% revenue gain in 2012. In its stockholders’ newsletter and earnings forecast, Bayer explained the increase as due to favorable exchange rates and higher-than-expected stales for drugs and crop chemicals. On the U.S. Stock Exchange, shares of Bayer rose 1.92% to reach $75.95 per share. In Germany, the share price increased 1.3% to €61.60 (approximately $76.11).