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Yaz Settlements May End Up Reaching $2.5 Billion, Experts Say

Pharmaceutical company Bayer has announced that it has already paid more than $402 million in Yasmin and Yaz lawsuit settlements and has set aside an additional $610.5 million to settle pending lawsuits over the controversial birth control pill. However, some independent industry analysts, including Richard Vosser of JP Morgan Chase, believe that by the time all the cases are settled, Bayer may end up spending as much as $2.5 billion in Yaz and Yasmin compensation.

So far, Bayer has only settled lawsuits involving blood clots in the veins caused by Yaz and Yasmin. But many of the pending cases involve blood clots that form in the arteries, which is a much more serious condition that may lead to higher compensation for plaintiffs.

More than 12,000 Yaz lawsuits have been filed

In the U.S., more than 12,000 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits claiming Yaz or Yasmin side effects, including blood clots, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. It has been reported that approximately 1,900 of these lawsuits have been settled with compensation for the plaintiffs.

The fact that Bayer has set aside an additional $610.5 million to continue settling lawsuits will likely mean financial compensation is forthcoming for many more Yaz plaintiffs in the near future. A Bayer spokesman commented, “We believe we have made appropriate provisions for most of the cases we consider to be worthy of settlement with these accounting measures.”

“This indicates they are making progess putting these Yaz suits over the vein clots behind them,” product liability law professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond told Business Week. Click the link for more on Yaz blood clots.

An attorney in Denver who is representing Yasmin plaintiffs pointed out that so far, Bayer has only settled lawsuits involving blood clots in the veins, not arterial blood clots. He told BusinessWeek that the cases involving arterial clots “involve some of the more serious injuries and we look forward to trying them.” Other pending lawsuits allege that contraceptives caused plaintiffs’ gallbladder damage or gallstones.

Bayer profits expected to rise despite Yaz litigation

Despite the ongoing litigation and millions of dollars in settlements, Bayer’s stockholders’ newsletter and earnings forecast foresee an overall 4 percent to 5 percent increase in revenues for 2012 over 2011. Bayer explained the growth in earnings as being a result of favorable exchange rates and higher-than-expected sales for drugs and crop chemicals.

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