July 20, 2018 – New York Times – Bayer announced on Friday that it would discontinue sales of its Essure birth control implant by the end of the year, bowing to a lengthy campaign by health advocates and thousands of women to get the device off the market.
The implant has had a troubled history. It has been the subject of an estimated 16,000 lawsuits or claims filed by women who reported severe injuries, including perforation of the uterus and the fallopian tubes. Several deaths, including of a few infants, have also been attributed to the device or to complications from it.
Madris Tomes, a former F.D.A. medical device official who runs a company that analyzes adverse event data, puts the figure closer to 30,000.
“With side effects ranging from hair loss and tooth loss to chronic pain, severe bleeding, miscarriages and even death, the benefit risk profile touted by Bayer simply didn’t jibe with the data that was pouring into the F.D.A. from both patients and physicians,” said Ms. Tomes, who has done pro bono work for an Essure patient advocacy group.