Germany’s Bayer, which is on the road to recovery after a long period in the doldrums, has paid out $1.13 billion dollars to settle almost 3,000 cases relating to its now withdrawn cholesterol-lowering drug, Baycol/Lipobay (cerivastatin) [[08/08/01a]].

The news came in a stockholders’ newsletter yesterday, and also revealed that just 6,000 cases remain pending – a significant drop from the 14,700 cases in which Bayer has been named as a defendant. The decrease, says the German firm, occurred for various reasons - including voluntary dismissals by plaintiffs, and court-ordered dismissals for failure to satisfy procedures.

“After more than three years of litigation we are currently aware of fewer than 50 cases in the US that in our opinion hold a potential for settlement,” Bayer said. In addition to the $1.2 billion in insurance coverage, the company took a 300 million euro charge in 2003 and a further 47 million euro hit in 2004 to pad out its legal reserves [[02/03/05a]].