It’s always important to prepare for litigation, and Bayer AG is doing just that, battening its hatches and setting aside more than $1.5 billion to cover expenses related to the wave of lawsuits the company is facing over its Yasmin and Yaz oral contraceptives. The lawsuits have caused the company’s earnings to drop, according to its annual report, released last week.

The suits began flooding in in 2009, when many women and their representatives claimed that the birth control pills caused blood clots that sometimes resulted in strokes, heart attacks or even death. In April 2012, the Food and Drug Administration ordered contraceptives including Yasmin and Yaz to strengthen their blood clot warnings.

According to the report, the 10,000 lawsuits (plus 1,200 claims that haven’t been filed in court) will exceed the coverage provided by Bayer’s product liability insurance. In addition to this multidistrict litigation, Bayer faces 13 class action cases in Canada.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


For more coverage of birth control-related lawsuits on InsideCounsel, see below:

Court denies contraception coverage injunction

Birth control exemptions fail to stop lawsuits

Hobby Lobby loses appeal of contraception coverage

Hobby Lobby sues not to cover morning-after pill

Novartis unit recalls birth control pills

Woman sues birth control pill maker for unintended pregnancy