In July, documents obtained from Health Canada found that 23 women in Canada had died mainly from blood clots associated with Yasmin or Yaz. These deaths made headline news but shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering at least 50 Yasmin deaths were filed with the FDA in less than a five-year period, from the first quarter of 2004 through the third quarter of 2008. How many deaths occurred after 2008?
A quick Google search does not find that question answered by the FDA adverse events (although Health Canada does). But one adverse events report (data compiled from a California-based healthcare informatics company) shows that, from November 1, 1997 through December 31, 2012, Yasmin deaths totaled 274.
If you take into consideration the fact that Bayer had reached agreements (its second quarter 2013 report of July 8, 2013) to settle deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) claims of approximately 6,760 Yasmin/Yaz lawsuits for about $1.4 billion, the total number of Yasmin and Yaz deaths worldwide is likely alarming. Add to that about 2,900 pending unsettled claimants.
Do the math: The Health Canada report of 23 deaths includes about 600 adverse reactions among women taking Yasmin and Yaz between 2007 and February 28, 2013. Now take into consideration that the above number of lawsuits settled and pending - close to 10,000 cases - may be the tip of the iceberg: It is a known fact that many adverse drug events are never reported.
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Yasmin Gallbladder Settlements
In August 2013, Bayer agreed to settle about 8,800 Yasmin or Yaz gallbladder injuries amounting to $24 million. The terms of the settlement include a $2,000 per-patient payment for the suffering of gallbladder injury as well as a $3,000 payment for those who had gallbladder removal. If women wish to participate, they must have filed and served their lawsuit before March 25, 2013.
Unfortunately, some women have not lived to participate in their Yasmin or Yaz lawsuit.