According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Judge David Herndon postponed the first in a series of cases involving the pharmaceutical giant Bayer. In an effort to settle matters outside of court, the Illinois district judge has instructed both sides to meet with a court-appointed mediator. The drug company is accused of knowingly marketing Yaz and Yasmin as safer than other birth control pills, despite evidence to the contrary. Bayer’s Yasmin family of birth control pills contains the hormone drospirenone, which is alleged to cause dangerous and blood clots that can prove fatal.
The First of Many
The drug company is facing a surge of lawsuits over claims that it misled women about the health risks associated with its Yasmin family of oral contraceptives. Judge Herndon will be overseeing the thousands of impending cases involving Bayer. Multitudes of women are suing Bayer for compensation over injuries allegedly caused by the contraceptive Yaz.
The lawyers representing women suing Bayer can let the statistics speak for themselves. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported at least 50 deaths linked to drospirenone-based pills, including Bayer’s Yasmin line of birth control.
To give the parties a chance to resolve matters on their own, Judge Herndon purposefully delayed the trial and appointed a mediator. Law professor Stephen Saltzburg was chosen to serve as intermediary based on his experience and praiseworthy work in a similar suit.
Representatives for Bayer stated that the company wants to avoid going to trial, if possible. The lawyer for the women suing Bayer said that while the women are ready to go to court, they are also prepared to negotiate given that Bayer makes a “good-faith” effort.
Dangers of Drospirenone
Concerned over their safety and possible health risks, contraceptives containing the hormone drospirenone have been the subject of scrutiny by advisors for the FDA. The FDA found that women taking drospirenone-based birth control face increased health risks compared to women on other types of birth control.
The Los Angeles Times reports that, “In two studies published in the British Medical Journal in April, pills containing drospirenone, a type of progestin, were found to carry a two- to three-fold higher risk of venous thromboembolism, or a blood clot in a deep vein, than pills containing a different progestin, levonorgestrel.” Similar research prompted the FDA to caution women about the dangers of taking birth control pills containing drospirenone. An FDA advisory panel has recommended that stronger warning labels be attached to these oral contraceptives.
The Future of Bayer
Yasmin was originally introduced to the market by Bayer in 2006. Yasmin brought in over $1.58 billion in 2010, making it the fourth most popular contraceptive in the U.S. More than 10,000 lawsuits involving the drospirenone-based contraceptives have been brought against Bayer. If mediation fails to resolve the suits, the cases against Bayer will go back to trial.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a blood clot that developed while taking the birth control pill Yasmin, contact our experienced team of lawyers today. We offer a free consultation during which we will discuss your legal rights and options so you can decide whether filing a claim for compensation is right for you.