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Bayer to settle lawsuits related to oral contraceptives

Millions of American women rely upon birth control pills as an effective means of contraception. While birth control pills have several known mild side effects, they are typically considered safe and effective. For thousands of women who took the birth control pills known as Yaz and Yasmin, the adverse side effects were serious and include reported cases of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks and gallbladder disease.

Bayer AG is the company that manufacturers and markets the oral contraceptives sold as Yaz and Yasmin. After legal action was taken thousands of women reported suffering gallbladder injuries after taking the drugs, Bayer has agreed to pay plaintiffs. The company has agreed to a $24 million settlement which equates to $3,000 for plaintiffs who were forced to have their gallbladders removed and $2,000 for plaintiff’s who suffered gallbladder injuries.

While the drug manufacturer still publically contends that both Yaz and Yasmin are as safe as any other oral contraceptive on the market, the company contends they decided to settle the claims to avoid additional legal costs. In addition to the claims related to gallbladder injuries, thousands more women have filed lawsuits related to blood clot injuries after taking Yaz or Yasmin.

Many of those plaintiffs, who suffered blood clots and the resulting injuries, may also have suffered gallbladder injuries. Legal experts, however, caution these women from accepting settlement funds related to a gallbladder injury as doing so could potentially prevent them from collecting damages related to a more serious blood clot injury.

Source: Reuters, “Bayer agrees to settle Yasmin, Yaz gallbladder lawsuits,” Terry Baynes, March 20, 2013

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