July 21, 2017 — Bayer announced that it will stop selling its permanent birth control device Essure in Canada.
Bayer advertised Essure as a quick outpatient procedure for busy women, Unfortunately, many of those women experienced permanent health problems. The victims organized a grassroots campaign called “E-sisters” to ban Essure, with the help of Erin Brockovich.
The result has been declining sales internationally. As a result, Bayer will withdraw Essure from the market in Canada over the next few months, according to a statement released by The Toronto Star:
“This decision was taken for commercial reasons, and the favourable benefit-risk profile of Essure remains unchanged. This is not a recall of the product from the market.”
Essure is a matchstick-sized device that is inserted into each fallopian tube. The device consists of two metal coils that are coated in irritating fibers of PET. Essure triggers inflammation and scar-tissue growth that closes the fallopian tubes within 3 months, preventing pregnancy.
The problem is that thousands of women have suffered debilitating side effects. After over 10,000 injuries were reported in the U.S., the FDA ordered Bayer to strengthen warnings on Essure. Health Canada issued a similar advisory because they were concerned that women were not being adequately warned about the severe long-term risks.
Studies now estimate that Essure patients are 10-times more likely to need follow-up surgery compared to women who have their tubes tied. Furthermore, many women experience heavier menstrual bleeding, chronic pain, allergic reactions to nickel, auto-immune diseases, fracture or migration of the device, and unintended pregnancy.
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