Tampa, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/03/2012 -- The drug manufacturer Bayer has paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits involving pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The lawsuits were filed by women who used the company's Yaz or Yasmin birth control pills and subsequently developed blood clots.
“Pulmonary embolism and DVT are very serious conditions,” said Greg Grambor, a DVT expert and owner of Vascular PRN, a distributor of treatment devices. “While the causes vary, the best method of prevention is compression therapy, which can be accomplished with a variety of venous compression devices, designed for maximum patient safety and comfort.”
DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in the veins of the pelvis or the legs. If the clot breaks free and travels through the bloodstream, it becomes an embolism. Some of the plaintiffs in the Bayer case suffered from pulmonary embolism.
Since 2009, Bayer has faced more than 12,000 lawsuits by women who say that the birth control pills caused harmful side effects. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said that the FDA has linked at least 50 deaths to use of Yaz and Yasmin.
At present, Bayer is only settling the cases that allege pulmonary embolism or DVT. The German drug maker has so far agreed to pay more than $400 million to settle about 1,877 of the lawsuits. Experts predict the company may eventually pay out billions of dollars.
In April, the FDA ordered Bayer and other manufacturers of contraceptives to issue stronger warning labels. Pills that contain drospirenone, a synthetic hormone, must carry labels indicating that the risk of blood clots may triple when the drug is used.
The lawsuits have been consolidated in federal court as multidistrict litigation, and the combined case is currently the largest in the federal court system. The case is in pretrial proceedings in the Southern District of Illinois.