Bayer announced last Friday that it will cease national (US) sales of its permanent birth control device Essure by the end of 2018.
For years, Essure has been surrounded by controversy as thousands of women worldwide have complained of the device causing serious problems such as perforations of the uterus/fallopian tubes, persistent pain, heavy bleeding, irregular menstrual cycles and other complications eventually requiring surgical removal. Additional problems cited by Essure users include migration of the coil into the pelvis or abdomen as well as unintended pregnancies.
In response to Bayer’s announcement, the FDA released a statement in which it noted its complicated history with Essure as well as its commitment to continue monitoring the device’s effect on its reported 750,000 users.
Even more recently, CNN has released an article describing seemingly shady business practices by Bayer in compensating physicians for their placement of their Essure device over other methods of sterilization/birth control. Specifically, CNN believes that Bayer compensated, under the guise of “consulting fees and similar services”, at least 11,850 doctors a total of $2.5 million between August of 2013 and the end of 2017. One physician in particular grossed nearly $170,000 throughout this period and says she’ll continue to implant the potentially harmful device until it is removed from the market.
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