In response to a May 4, 2015 story in the New York Times about Essure permanent birth control, Bayer submitted the following letter to the editor, which the New York Times refused to publish in its entirety.
The Gray Lady’s space considerations notwithstanding, this is an issue of both fairness and accuracy.
To the Editor:
Re: “Long-Term Data on Complications Adds to Criticism of Contraceptive Implant” (May 4, 2015), Roni Rabin mischaracterizes a recently published long term study on Essure. This well-designed, well-executed study reinforces the safety and efficacy of the device and the procedure. The side effects reported are consistent with numerous other scientific studies and the Instructions for Use on Essure – which the FDA approved in 2002 and then reevaluated in 2013.
Women deserve access to a wide range of contraceptive options, and Essure is an important non-surgical and non-hormonal option for women who have completed their families and want permanent birth control. However, no medical device, procedure, or even drug is completely free of side effects.
That's why the importance of the conversation between patients and their doctors cannot be overstated. Health professionals must appropriately counsel their patients about Essure, and women who experience any issues should immediately contact their OBGYN.
Moreover, while social media is a valuable tool for patient support, it should never be used as a substitute for medical advice from an experienced, board certified physician. Bayer has reached out to many women on social media who have said they’ve experienced problems with Essure, and we encourage any woman who has concerns to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-84BAYER so we can help her get the support she needs.
President, Bayer Corporation