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Bayer reaches settlements on 500 contraceptive suits

If you are a woman that has experienced an injury you believe was caused by your birth control, you may want to take note. Pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, is expected to pay at least $110 million to settle approximately 500 product liability lawsuits. The company's Yasmin line of birth-control pills has allegedly caused blood clots in some women that were taking them, a dangerous side effect that could quickly turn fatal.

People familiar with the settlements have said that both Yasmin and Yaz contraceptives are included in the suits. The German pharmaceutical company will be paying an average of about $220,000 per case to resolve the claims made against it for its product.

Reports show that the aforementioned contraceptives have caused sometimes fatal clots to appear in some users of the products. These clots have led to both strokes and heart attacks.

Initially slated for a trial on Jan. 9, a federal judge in Illinois postponed this so that a mediator could be brought in to attempt a settlement negotiation. The postponed case would have been the first to head to trial of more than 11,000 suits alleging injuries caused by the contraceptives and a misleading of women about their potential health risks.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Bayer, and other contraceptive makers, to make blood-clot warnings on their products stronger than they have been in the past. These warnings will include labels that say research has found that the use of contraceptives may triple the risk of a blood clot.

In 2010, sales of Bayer's contraceptives created $1.58 billion for the company. This amount makes the drugs the company's second-largest seller.

The company said that it had settled 70 cases involving its contraceptives as of Feb. 28. This information was reported in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: NJ.com, "Bayer negotiating settlement to resolve lawsuits over fatal blood clots caused by its birth control pills," April 13, 2012

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