Bayer Pharmaceuticals, makers of Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills, agreed last week to pay a minimum of $110 million to settle about 500 consumer lawsuits against the company. In what insiders call the first resolution involving the birth control drugs since their safety came into question last year, Bayer is reportedly paying out an average of $220,000 per individual claim, according to Bloomberg news.
The potential payout on these two drugs could be nearly more than $24 billion if Bayer settles the other 11,000+ claims at the same or a similar rate.
The German-based pharmaceutical giant has been under fire since last year, when the FDA warned that women taking the pills were 74% more likely to develop blood clots in their veins than women taking comparable forms of birth control. The ingredient in question in the birth control pills is drospirenone, which is a man-made version of progesterone, the hormone that occurs naturally in women’s bodies.
Yasmin and Yaz have been available since 2001 and 2006, respectively. The birth control drugs are among the most popular brands in the United States, due in part to Bayer marketing them as being able to reduce acne, premenstrual symptoms and other hormonal issues. The New York Times reports that more than 11,000 women have sued Bayer since their birth control debut, due to medical problems linked with the drugs.
Last week was a rough week for Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Not only did the company announce their big payouts to injured consumers of their drugs, but they were also hit with stricter requirements affecting their product labeling.
On Tuesday, the FDA announced that birth control brands Yaz, Yasmin, Safyral and Beyaz are required to update their labels with warning statements that reflect their increased risk of blood clotting, as reported in Time. These labels will be required to state that various studies have suggested a range of increased risk, all the way up to three times the risk of increased dangerous clots, according to one study.
According to The Mayo Clinic, blood clots occur when blood turns from a liquid to a solid, forming a clump in the blood vessels. Clotting can occur in many different parts of the body where it can cause localized problems, like swelling, redness and pain. But the real danger of blood clots is when they become dislodged and travel to crucial organs of the body, causing blockages:
You may want to talk to your physician about the possibility of switching to a different birth control method that has not been linked with increased dangerous side effects.
If you do continue to take Yaz, Yasmin, or one of the other drospirenone-containing birth control pills, be aware of the symptoms associated with blood clotting. According to the FDA, if you take these drugs and experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately:
Also keep in mind that you may have a deep vein blood clot and not have any symptoms.
Have you or someone you love suffered from a deep vein blood clot while taking Yaz or Yasmin? If so, you may be entitled the compensation that Bayer is paying out to women who have suffered similarly. Contact our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation. The time to file a claim is limited, so contact us today.