Bayer says it is making progress in settlement talks with lawyers for thousands of women who were injured by Essure birth control implants.
On Monday, the company announced that it has set aside $1.47 billion for potential settlements involving around 32,000 lawsuits in the U.S.
“Discussions on potential settlements in connection with Essure, a medical device offering permanent birth control with a nonsurgical procedure, recently intensified and have made good progress in recent weeks,” Bayer said in its second-quarter earnings report on August 3.
Essure is a permanent sterilization implant that was advertised as a quick and less painful alternative to “tube tying” surgery for women.
Essure consists of two metal coils that are inserted non-surgically into a woman’s fallopian tubes. The device triggers inflammation and scarring that closes the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy.
Unfortunately, thousands of women ended up suffering from debilitating long-term complications, including chronic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, pregnancy, organ damage, and more.
In many cases, women who were trying to avoid a “tube tying” surgery eventually had to undergo surgery to remove Essure due to the severe complications.
Bayer inherited the Essure litigation when it paid $1.2 billion in 2013 for Conceptus Inc., a Silicon Valley startup that invented Essure.
After a surge in complaints and grassroots advocacy from women like Erin Brockovich and the “E-sisters,” the FDA slapped a “Black Box” safety warning on Essure in 2015. Bayer stopped selling the implants worldwide in 2018.