Kentucky Attorney General Announces $17 Million Settlement with Bayer

by Andrew Murray | October 29th, 2019

On October 23, 2019, Kentucky’s Attorney General announced that he has secured a $17 million settlement with Bayer Corporation following allegations that the company misled Kentucky citizens about blood clot risks associated with two of its products. The Press Release states:

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The settlement resolves a 2013 lawsuit, brought by the Office of the Attorney General and continued by Beshear. The suit alleged from 2007 to 2012, and again after 2015, Bayer failed to provide accurate marketing information to women about scientific evidence that indicated the two drugs (containing drospirenone) create a higher risk for blood clots compared to similar contraceptives containing first-generation progestins.

After litigation fees, a portion of the settlement will be available for the General Assembly to appropriate during the next budget session. Beshear said he would like to see the funds used to help Kentuckians access affordable health care and address other public health needs.

The 2013 lawsuit grew from a 2007 consent judgement Kentucky entered into with other states and Bayer over deceptive marketing of its cholesterol-lowering drug, Baycol. Bayer agreed to a prohibition on making any false or misleading representations of those products.

Beshear argued that the actions alleged in the 2013 lawsuit regarding the marketing of Yasmin and Yaz were in violation of the 2007 consent judgement.

While Bayer does not admit liability for its actions, part of the settlement will go to pay the state’s investigation costs, litigation fees and other costs associated with developing the case, as set forth in a competitively bid contingency fee contract awarded by the previous administration. Pursuant to that contract, a fee will be paid to outside counsel for their work on the case.

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Kentucky and other states also secured an order against Bayer in 2009, which made the company correct deceptive advertisements that led customers to believe Yasmin and Yaz could be used to treat other conditions, like acne, which were not approved by the FDA.

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