Last week drug and chemical mogul Bayer AG announced promising news to its shareholders in regard to its second quarter earnings. Revenues rose 10 percent and the company raised its full-year outlook. "Following the good business performance in the first half of 2012…[we are] confident for the second half of the year," said chief executive Marijn Dekkers.
While on the waterfront things may seem great for Bayer, there’s one important factor that remains troublesome for the corporation: the birth control contraceptive Yaz or Yasmin.
Released in 2006, the contraceptive Yaz generated sales of nearly $2 billion in its first year alone, making it the one time leading birth control pill on the market and Bayer’s top-selling drug. Yet, Yaz is no longer Bayer’s promising venture. Instead, Yaz has proved to be quite problematic for both Bayer and even worse, its consumers.
Recent studies have shown that Yaz’s marketing was both misleading and dangerous and women were harmed after relying on that marketing. Independent studies have found that Yaz carries higher blood clotting risks than other leading birth control pills. As the injuries continued to increase, and the dangers of Yaz became exposed, lawsuits evolved.
With that kind of trouble with a top-selling drug, you would think a corporation would suffer financially. But, according to Bayer's second quarter financial statements, agreements have been reached to settle the claims of 1,877 claimants in the U.S. for a total cost to Bayer of about $402.6 million. These numbers increased since the first quarter statements, when Bayer announced they had settled the claims of 651 plaintiffs in the U.S. for a total of about $142 million.
How much does $402.6 million really affect a company that is estimating yearly sales to hit over $12 billion? According to the second quarter financial statements these settlements are ongoing but, even so, Bayer's shareholders should be pleased with "good business performance" and are likely to see an even better second half to their year.
How can women suffering from the side effects of Yaz not help but feel like a cost of doing business as they consider their legal options? And what are their legal options? Currently 1,877 women in the U.S. who have suffered Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism have been included in Bayer's settlements, according to the second quarter financial statement. And, while this may feel like a compromise to some, what's even worse is that this compromise is not even an option for women suffering from other life altering injuries such as strokes, heart attacks, gallbladder disease, and countless other injuries that Bayer has chosen to keep out of settlement talks to date.
In the Quarterly Earnings Statement, Bayer acknowledged over 15,000 lawsuits would be a part of their settlement discussions. Given the fact that the AdverseEvents Monitor reported that in 2012 there have been over 18,000 adverse health reports this year alone with Yaz found to be the primary suspect, we can't help but wonder where Bayer got their number. It certainly appears that there are many more injured individuals that have either not come forward yet or we should expect Bayer's claimant number to rise in coming quarters.
If you or a family member is suffering from serious side effects due to Yaz or Yasmin, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal claims. Until the voices of the injured speak up, women like those suffering from Yaz, will sadly continue to be a cost of doing business for corporations like Bayer.