Settlement negotiations are ongoing in an increasing number of birth control medication injury lawsuits filed by women throughout the United States. Pharmaceutical Companies such as Merck, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Teva, Barr, Watson and Sandoz are facing billions of dollars in lawsuits and confidential settlements.
Women were experiencing side effects related to oral contraceptives containing the synthetic female hormone, Drospirenone. This dangerous, fourth generation progestin hormone increases potassium levels in the body leading to the formation of blood clots in the large arteries and the extremities. Drospirenone is linked to numerous side effects, including: Hyperkalemia, Blood Clots, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Venous Thromboembolis, Pulmonary Embolism, Stroke, Cerebrovascular Accidents, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Gallbladder Disease and even death.
Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz, Yasmin and a couple of other forms of oral contraceptives involved in the alleged lawsuits, has agreed to pay an estimated amount of $750 million dollars thus far to resolve 3,490 cases without admittance of liability. Bayer still has over 12,000 pending lawsuits, and is predicting to pay up to $2.65 billion dollars in settlements in the end.
Other non-oral contraceptives including NuvaRing and Ortho Evra have shown to have a higher risk of blood clots than oral contraceptive birth control pills. Studies have shown that NuvaRing had a 90 percent higher risk of Venous Thrombosis and the risk was similar to those seen in women taking Yaz/Yasmin. Merck, the manufacturer of NuvaRing, is facing more than 1,000 litigations against the drug's side effects and they continue to grow.
Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest health care manufacturer, avoided trials through quiet settlements. However, the company has spent at least 468.7 million dollars to settle hundreds of lawsuits filed by women who suffered from blood clots, heart attacks or strokes after using Ortho Evra birth control patch. There is a combination of hormones used in the Ortho Evra patch including estrogen and progestin leading to the argument that it causes increased risk of thromboembolic events compared to alternate forms of birth control.