That €500 million ($615.8 million) that Bayer set aside to cover its Yaz and Yasmin litigation? A big chunk of it is already spent. The company said it has settled almost 1,900 lawsuits for a total of $402 million-plus. That's an average of about $212,000 per case.
The lawsuits involve allegations that the birth control pills, which include the synthetic hormone drospirenone, caused blood clots. Studies have raised red flags about the clot risks over the years, but Bayer has said its own data doesn't show that its products are appreciably more risky than other contraceptive pills. Hormonal birth control is known to increase the incidence of blood clots, particularly in smokers. In April, however, FDA asked Bayer to amp up blood-clot warnings on its drospirenone products.
The €500 million comes on top of €200 million ($246.3 million) set aside in 2010 and 2011, Bloomberg reports, a total of about $862 million at today's exchange rates. "We believe we have made appropriate provisions for most of the cases we consider to be worthy of settlement with these accounting measures," the company said (as quoted by the news service).
Analysts aren't so sure; some have said Bayer could end up shelling out more than €2 billion ($2.46 billion) to wrap up all the Yasmin-and-its-sisters lawsuits. When the FDA warnings were announced, Bayer had about 11,900 suits outstanding; at the time, the company had settled about 651 cases. The birth-control pills brought in $1.1 billion in sales last year.
- see the Bloomberg coverage
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