As lawsuits continue to pile up against Bayer, the makers of the controversial and deadly birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, many people may be wondering just how much damage all these lawsuits can cause for the drug giant in terms of their finances.
It doesn’t help that Bayer has recently agreed to settle at least 500 lawsuits against it for $110 million, or around $220,000 per plaintiff. When that amount is broken down into plaintiffs, the payout is actually quite small — especially when you consider that Yaz and Yasmin are the most popular birth control pills on the market, despite the fact that the pills have been proven to be dangerous. The side effects linked to Yaz and Yasmin include heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder disease and blood clots that can lead to pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis.
These side effects have caused many former users to file lawsuits against Bayer amid claims that the company failed to properly warn them. Bayer has also come under fire for its old ad campaign that downplayed those risks and promoted off-label uses of the pills. For years, Bayer refused to admit its own wrongdoing, but in the past few months, the company has made at least two settlement agreements — one of them settling the previously-referenced 500 cases and another one settling 70 of them. Right now, the Bellwether cases presided over by Judge David R. Herndon appears to be going in that direction as well, and the judge has issued another stay in the case to give both sides the chance to reach a settlement.
Should Bayer continue to try reaching settlements with all of the 11,500 and rising plaintiffs, it is unlikely that the company will go under financially. However, it may just go a long way in teaching Bayer to be more upfront with their patients before putting drugs on the market. While all drugs have potential side effects, companies have to learn that patients and doctors need to know beforehand what they are getting into. These settlements may go a long way toward Bayer doing just that.