After two years and nearly $2 billion in settlements to victims of Yaz blood clots, German drug maker Bayer is finally seeing a drop in the number of lawsuits filed against their popular birth control drugs Yaz and Yasmin.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which oversees federal mass tort litigation against hundreds of allegedly dangerous products around the country, reported today that the number of pending Yaz lawsuits had dropped from 9,426 on April 15 to 8,919 as of June 16.
That’s a drop of more than 5% in recent months, the largest since lawsuits against Yaz began years ago. But it comes at a price: Bayer has now spent over $1.75 billion paying out settlements to more than 8,600 women and families.
The average Yaz settlement, according to Bayer, is around $200,000. And they are only considering cases involving deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, or stroke for women taking Yaz, Yasmin or a similar generic before mid-2012.
However, Bayer says they will continue to review lawsuits through 2014.
Lawyers are still helping those affected file a claim, and it costs nothing for help unless victims receive an award or settlement.
So far, Bayer says they have faced over 13,000 lawsuits from patients alleging Yaz side effects. However, this is still far less than the more than 20,000 blood clot injuries reported for Yaz or Yasmin to the FDA. Lawyers are surprised so many women have not yet taken advantage of the free help available for themselves and their families.
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.
The FDA enacted tough new regulations this week aimed at making sure all women who are considering implantation of the Essure birth control device fully understand all the risks and benefits before moving forward.