Device Deportation: Bayer to Discontinue Essure in Canada and Multiple European Countries
Essure, the permanent birth control device that has made numerous headlines around the world due to its high risk of complications, has not had the best year in regards to global markets. In February, Essure was suspended and recalled in Brazil, in a decision the National Health Surveillance Agency called “a measure of health.” It would appear that more international sales have been influenced by the negative press surrounding potential health risks, as Bayer has announced it will discontinue Essure in Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The Netherlands was the first of the recent withdrawals announced by Essure manufacturer Bayer, in a press release to OBYYNs (Note: the linked release is untranslated in the original Dutch) on May 29th, 2017. In that press release, Bayer pointed to a change in patient demand as its reason to discontinue Essure for sale and distribution in the Netherlands after July 1, 2017.
Just a few days later, Bayer announced the decision to cease sales in Finland in a press release dated May 31, 2017. Bayer cites continuous decline in the demand for Essure as the primary cause of the sales halt, which is set to begin on June 25th of this year.
Shortly after this announcement, multiple sources began reporting that Bayer would be leaving the UK market beginning September 1, 2017. While no official communication from Bayer is cited, a screenshot of correspondence with Bayer Senior Medical Information Scientist Anuca Lofts states that the company will allegedly be pulling out of the UK for “commercial reasons.”
Similarly to their exit from several European markets, Bayer announced its departure from Canada on June 16th. Once again, the company cited a “change in patient demand.”
Because statements like “change in patient demand” and “commercial reasons” are empirically vague, any attempt to pinpoint the true nature of Bayer abandoning these markets would be pure speculation. However, the language of “continuous decline” does suggest that fewer people are opting for the device than previously anticipated.
As the above graphic we created illustrates, Essure has come under intense scrutiny as of late for the myriad of issues that have been reported. This media attention, coupled with the numerous Essure lawsuits that have been filed, certainly shine a light on the problems surrounding the device.