HealthCheck

Merck to pay $100 million in NuvaRing lawsuit settlement

Monday, February 10, 2014

Merck & Co. has agreed to pay $100 million to settle thousands of lawsuits over the safety of its NuvaRing contraceptive device.

Reuters reports the deal was reached Friday in response to the product liability lawsuits that claim the company downplayed the health risks associated with the birth control.

The product has been on the market since 2001, and has been linked to an increased risk of blood clots that may lead to heart attacks, strokes, or sudden deaths.

The settlement must be agreed upon by 95 percent of the 3,800 patients involved in the lawsuits in order for the deal to take effect.

Merck, the second largest drug manufacturer in the U.S., is only paying a fraction of what other companies have paid in similar lawsuits. Bayer paid nearly $1.6 billion in settlements surrounding its Yaz and Yazmin birth control pills. Those pills were also linked to blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.

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