State judge grants co­or­di­na­tion of Es­sure cases in Cal­i­for­nia

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —El­iz­a­beth Whit­man

A Cal­i­for­nia state judge granted a mo­tion to co­or­di­nate 55 cases filed against Bayer by roughly 900 women who say the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany’s per­ma­nent birth con­trol de­vice Es­sure caused them harm.

The mech­a­nism of civil case co­or­di­na­tion in Cal­i­for­nia al­lows two or more cases that “share com­mon ques­tions of fact or law and that are pend­ing in dif­fer­ent coun­ties to be joined in one court,” ac­cord­ing to the state’s ju­di­cial branch. With co­or­di­nated cases as­signed to a sin­gle judge, one rul­ing ap­plies to them all.

Es­sure is a tiny coil made of nickel that is in­serted with­out surgery or anes­the­sia into each of a woman’s fal­lop­ian tubes. Ide­ally, scar tis­sue de­vel­ops around the coils, block­ing the tubes and pre­vent­ing the fer­til­iza­tion of eggs and their en­try into the uterus. But thou­sands of women have re­ported prob­lems with the de­vice.

The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Man­u­fac­turer and User Fa­cil­ity De­vice Ex­pe­ri­ence data­base has re­ceived 9,900 re­ports re­lated to Es­sure, in­clud­ing 6,989 re­ports of pain, 3,210 of ir­reg­u­lar pe­ri­ods, 854 of the de­vice mi­grat­ing, and 429 of the de­vice break­ing, among nu­mer­ous other prob­lems.

Bayer, mean­while, main­tains that Es­sure is safe for women to use.

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