In the past, effective and safe birth control options were very limited for some women, especially those without adequate health insurance. One of the most dangerous options was a permanent birth control implant called Essure, produced by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. This implant spawned an estimated 16,000 personal injury lawsuits, with thousands more women reporting serious and painful injuries after the implantation process.
Earlier this year, however, Bayer finally announced that it would be discontinuing production and sales for its Essure implant. While the company has consistently denied claims that the implant is dangerous, and stated in July that the decision was not motivated by safety issues, this still represents a victory for the injury lawyers and public health advocates who pushed to remove this dangerous medical device from the market for years.
About the Essure Birth Control Implant
Inserted into the fallopian tubes through the vagina, Bayer’s Essure implant was made of a nickel alloy, and it supposedly worked by causing inflammation and scar tissue to block the fallopian tubes for good. Essure was approved for permanent birth control use by the FDA in 2002, but it took until 2018 for the agency to formally restrict Bayer’s production of the Essure implant. According to the FDA, more than 30,000 “adverse events” and injuries were reported over that 16 year period, because of the implant’s tendency to become dislocated and perforate the uterus and fallopian tubes. Some of the most common injuries included miscarriage, hair and tooth loss, ectopic pregnancy, and internal bleeding. In many cases, the women ultimately died due to injury.
Prompted by mounting lawsuits, the FDA eventually placed a “black box warning” on the packaging in 2016 to warn consumers of the injury risks, although the damage had already been done for many women. However, this action decreased sales of the product by at least 70% in the United States, which many speculate is the reason Bayer ultimately agreed to discontinue sales this year.
Protecting the Injured from Dangerous Medical Devices
To date, the United States FDA never completely banned the Essure birth control implant – even though Bayer was forced to stop selling it in nearly every other country due to concerns about safety risks. Although we expect government agencies like the FDA to protect us from harm, the sad truth is that many pharmaceutical companies are still given a green light to sell dangerous medical devices and drugs, and make a profit on the suffering of injury victims.
When you become injured after using a dangerous product, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. Our Baltimore dangerous drug injury lawyers at Brown & Barron, LLC can examine your case and provide you with the compassionate counsel you need. We have experience fighting back against large pharmaceutical companies, and with millions won in successful verdicts, you can rest assured that we will hold these companies accountable for the pain you’ve experienced.
Give us a call today at (410) 698-1717, or contact us online for more information.