Bayer Stops Sales of Essure – but the Legal Fight Continues

by Terry Bryant

Since the early 2000’s, hundreds of thousands of women have turned to a tiny, coiled device as a supposedly safe and effective method of birth control. As many as 750,000 women have chosen the Essure implant for sterilization, largely because they were told the device involved a gentle, non-surgical procedure with little risk of side effects.

Unfortunately, the device has disrupted the lives of thousands of users and been the subject of intense public scrutiny and 16,000 lawsuits. The maker of Essure, Bayer, has repeatedly and consistently denied the allegations that the device causes users harm. However, the company announced in July 2018 that they were stopping all sales of Essure.

Bayer says that it will no longer offer Essure because sales have declined. Whether or not their decision is purely business-related, it’s clear that this device has spawned a storm of controversy and litigation that continues to plague Bayer.

Essure Keeps Bayer in the Crosshairs

Most recently, Bayer has received unwelcomed scrutiny from two sources. First is the release of a new Netflix documentary The Bleeding Edge, which focuses on the multibillion-dollar medical device industry and the questionable practices that occur within it. The Essure saga plays a prominent role in the film, which includes footage of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval hearings for the device and accounts of women who have suffered significant harm from Essure.

The second bit of bad news for Bayer is a story from CNN highlighting $2.5 million worth of payments the company made from 2013 to 2017 to 11,850 doctors for services related to Essure. These arrangements aren’t illegal in our current system, but they are ethically questionable, and they don’t reflect well on Bayer, particularly when their product has been raising red flags among safety advocates for many years.

A History of Complaints by Users

A former FDA medical device official said that there have been as many as 30,000 complaints of adverse effects stemming from Essure. Those adverse effects include a litany of complications, including:

  • Persistent pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Hair loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Migration of the coils into the pelvis or abdomen
  • Perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Allergic reaction.

Many women suffering from these conditions have joined a Facebook group called Essure Problems, which now has 37,000 members. On the page, community members share experiences of incredible pain and suffering. Many of them also state that they were assured by doctors that the procedure and the device were both safe and effective.

As Bayer Halts Sales, Suffering Continues for Essure Users

Though Bayer has decided to remove Essure from the market, thousands of women continue to live with the damaging effects this device has caused. Safety advocates are pleased to hear that this product won’t cause more harm to women, but for those that have already been injured by Essure, there is still more work to be done.

We believe that Bayer should be held responsible for the damage Essure has caused. We’re currently meeting with those who suspect their injuries and illnesses have stemmed from Essure.

Essure Lawsuit Lawyers

We encourage you to contact our legal team if you have had an Essure implant and, in the last two years, have suffered from device migration, required a hysterectomy, had an unintended pregnancy, or required a surgical removal or repair.

Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.