Bayer has misled women around the world into believing their implantable birth control device Essure is safe and effective, resulting in pain and injury for tens of thousands, and for that, we name them our “Healthcare Villain of the Week.”
The very premise behind Essure is to cause an adverse reaction in a woman’s body: The Essure devices are implanted in a woman’s fallopian tubes, causing scarring that is supposed to serve as a barrier between eggs and sperm, thus preventing pregnancy.
FDA inspection reports show there were more than 32,000 reports of problems or injuries caused by the Essure device between 2008- 2013, including reports of migrations, perforations and pregnancies, which Conceptus/Bayer failed to report to the FDA.
Bayer has also falsely marketed Essure’s effectiveness and safety data, and thousands of women have suffered complications ranging from unintended pregnancy to having hysterectomy to have it removed. Research shows that Bayer’s assertion that Essure is “99%” effective is false, with one study showing that women with Essure have a pregnancy rate that is 16 times higher than what Bayer has cited. Essure has also been linked to hundreds of fetal deaths.
Bayer is headquartered in Germany, but Essure was never sold in Germany. It’s been taken off the market around the world, except for the U.S., where it continues to be sold because Bayer’s profits are so high. In fact, Bayer continued to sell Essure for more than 10 years after knowing it was harming women, and they hid the information from physicians, nurses and patients. Bayer has also refused to meet with patient advocates from “Essure Problems,” a group of women harmed by Essure.
Some of the gripping stories of those women harmed by Essure can be seen in our film, The Bleeding Edge, a Netflix Original which premieres on Netflix July 27.
When will Bayer do the right thing and pull their harmful Essure device off the market?
Join the E-Sisters, a group of patient activists harmed by Essure, for a rally and preview screening of The Bleeding Edge outside Bayer’s corporate headquarters in New Jersey on July 17.