Bayer Pharmaceuticals plans on buying California-based company Conceptus and its contraceptive device Essure for $1.1 billion, despite facing lawsuits for its own contraceptive device Mirena. Essure was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 and is a permanent contraceptive device, unlike Bayer’s intrauterine devices (IUD) Mirena and Skyla.
Bayer is facing Mirena lawsuits alleging that the device is linked to severe side effects and can cause permanent damage. Mirena side effects include perforation of the uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection, vaginal hemorrhage and ectopic pregnancy, a fatal condition in which a fetus develops outside of the uterus.
Some Mirena IUD side effects could require surgery, while others could lead to permanent infertility. The FDA issue a warning to Bayer in 2010, stating that the company minimized the risks associated with Mirena in advertising materials, while including false and misleading representations.