German pharmaceutical company Bayer is under fire once more for problems associated with another one of its birth control medications*, an intrauterine device known as Mirena, marketed as an alternative to oral contraception. Mirena is said to prevent pregnancy for up to five years after implantation; unfortunately what the drug company fails to warn consumers about is the fact that this IUD has a tendency to travel to unwanted places and spaces once implanted in patients. In turn, this is causing problems such as infection, perforation of organs and ectopic pregnancy.
Tricia Prendergast, a plaintiff in a suit against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. alleges just that saying that Mirena caused such severe complications after implantation that ultimately it required surgical removal. Prendergast is not the only female in the U.S. to experience problems with this pregnancy inhibiting device, several other women have come forward and it is likely that many more plaintiffs will surface over time. Since receiving FDA approval in 2000, over 2 million women in the United States have used Mirena for contraceptive purposes; approximately 13 million more women worldwide have also used the device.
Despite the ever-growing number of cases being filed, and never ending reports of side effects (approximately 45,000 reports of adverse reactions tied to the product since its initial approval by the FDA) Bayer still heavily promotes Mirena as well as its other contraceptives; in fact Bayer’s line of birth control medications are reportedly the company’s largest source of revenue. The commercials that advertise the product still fail to mention warnings of the reported side effects, especially those most dangerous such as ectopic pregnancy, perforation of organs, and even resulting hysterectomy for some women.
Lawsuits have been filed nationwide alleging Bayer has misled consumers via false advertising, although, as mentioned above, the Pharmaceutical giant has failed to make any changes in its methods of promotion or advertising, including failure to warn about the extreme risks and side effects that have been reported by many. Bayer recently filed a motion to consolidate the several cases into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) lawsuit, similar to what is known as a class action, however the initial motion has been denied. Plaintiffs’ counsel have made similar requests to consolidate the matters into MDL, although they are in disagreement with Bayer’s attorneys as to which jurisdiction the MDL should be formed in.
*other pending litigation includes drugs such as Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella.