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Reduced Healthcare Costs May Lead to More Mirena Lawsuits

Mirena is a contraceptive device designed to be implanted in the cervix by a physician. Mirena quickly gained popularity among women as it does not require daily, weekly, or even monthly maintenance to be effective. Once implanted, the Mirena device is supposed to stay in place for up to five years. Additionally, Mirena was originally marketed to women as a miracle drug that would increase female sex drive and promised to make its users “look and feel great.” Mirena is currently used by about 8.5% of U.S. women. Of course that number pales in comparison to Yaz and Yasmine, which are the top selling birth control products in the United States. The disparity is due in part to the fact that Mirena can be very expensive. In most cases the Mirena device and accompanying procedure can cost in excess of one thousand dollars. In light of new healthcare options available under Obamacare however, the cost of Mirena may be greatly decreased making it more readily available to women who cannot currently afford it. Unfortunately for Bayer, the increased availability of the Mirena device will likely lead to an increase in lawsuits based on the harmful side effects associated with the drug, as well as claims that Bayer falsely advertised its benefits and withheld negative effects from the general public. For example, the advertising claims of looking and feeling great turned out to be completely false when the US Health and Human Services Division of Advertising and Communications determined that Mirena’s less serious side effects included a decrease in libido, weight gain, and acne. It is the more serious side effects of the drug however, that has led to the massive litigation Bayer faces today. Shortly after receiving FDA approval, reports of Mirena’s negative side effects began pouring in. To date, the FDA has received over 45,000 reports of adverse effects associated with the drug. While the device is designed to be inserted and to stay in place for 5 years, that is not always the case. Many of these 45,000 reports involved cases of the device dislocating from its position and travelling into different parts of the body. When this happens, surgery is often required to find and retrieve the device. Sometimes the reason for the device’s dislocation is that it actually tears a hole into the uterine wall through which it escapes to travel to other organs in the abdomen. In these cases, the woman may be unable to have children in the future as a result of the tear. Even more devastating are reports that Mirena has caused ectopic pregnancies- a pregnancy in which the fetus attaches and begins to form in the fallopian tube. These pregnancies are always life threatening- both for the fetus and for the mother- and require emergency surgery to remove the fetus. The result of the surgery is often infertility. In April of 2013, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multijurisdictional Litigation (JPML) deiced to combine the 40 Mirena lawsuits pending in federal court into one Multijurisdictional Litigation case in New York’s Southern District. There are currently still 60 cases pending in state courts across the U.S. and the decision as to whether to combine those into multijurisdictional litigation is still pending in a New Jersey State Court. While only about 100 cases have been filed against Bayer to date, the over 45,000 reports of negative side effects received by the FDA and the increased availability in the drug due to the new healthcare changes likely mean that Bayer can look forward to many more lawsuits due to this defective drug. If you are a woman who is currently using the Mirena IUD, it is advisable to have it removed if you are experiencing any pain, abnormal bleeding, or any of these other serious side-effects. The described symptoms after removal don’t happen to every woman and are not dangerous, as long as suicidal thoughts do not become acute. On the other hand, a migrating IUD (one that moves from its intended location) can lead to internal injuries, multiple surgeries, miscarriage, and possible sterility. (833) 606-DRUG [3784].