Bayer AG (BAYRY) announced it will pay at least $110 million to settle nearly 500 lawsuits over claims that the Yasmin birth-control pills caused a number of health risks. (STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Follow Kapitall on Twitter)
In 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration examined more than 835,000 women taking Yasmin and found women taking pills were 74% more likely to suffer blood clots than women on other low-estrogen contraceptives. The company has since faced waves of lawsuits in the US.
Bayer AG is Germany's largest drug-maker. Their contraceptives generated $1.58 billion in sales in 2010 – the second best-selling drugs after Betaseron, a multiple sclerosis medication.
According to Bloomberg, Bayer agreed to pay an average of about $220,000 a case to resolve the claims that its contraceptives, Yasmin and Yaz, sometimes caused fatal clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The settlements came after a federal judge in Illinois postponed a Jan. 9 trial of a suit accusing Bayer of misleading women about the health risks.
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On Friday, when the news was announced, shares fell 2.5% in German trading, and 3.8% in American depository receipts (each worth one regular share).
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Written by Rebecca Lipman.