PHILADELPHIA, April 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Arizona woman has sued the Bayer drug manufacturing company after sustaining life-threatening injuries she says were caused by the company’s popular implantable contraceptive device, the Mirena IUD.
Cynthia Solano’s lawsuit against Bayer alleges that the Mirena device her doctor implanted in early 2011 tore through her uterus and became embedded in her body, causing renal failure and requiring emergency surgery to save her life.
Ever since the surgery, the lawsuit alleges, Solano has suffered from persistent neck pain and reduced mobility. She also continues to suffer abdominal pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and severe cramping.
“The long-term consequences of these injuries on Ms. Solano’s health are unknown at this time, which is a source of great anxiety for her,” the lawsuit says. “Additionally, Ms. Solano has significant out-of-pocket expenses for medical coverage and other costs associated with her Mirena-related problems.”
The lawsuit says Solano had to take disability leave from her job during her recovery from surgery, and the resulting loss of income forced her to tap into her 401(k) early “in a thus far fruitless attempt to pay her bills.”
Bayer markets the Mirena device as a safe and easy method of long-term contraception for women who do not want to take a daily pill. The device is implanted into the uterus, where it slowly releases hormones over a period of five years. The hormones make the uterus inhospitable to life, sometimes by preventing ovulation, but also by making sure an egg that has been fertilized has nowhere to implant, thus instigating a very early abortion.
The suit accuses Bayer of knowingly selling a product the company knows to be unsafe and of understating the risks.
“Contrary to Bayer’s representations about a host of benefits of using Mirena, the product is not safe and simple,” Solano’s lawsuit says.
Bayer has a tangled legal history, as a series of lawsuits have alleged the company is less than truthful about the risks and rewards of the Mirena device.
In 2009, the FDA issued a warning letter to Bayer after the company’s promotional campaign for Mirena exaggerated its effectiveness, made unsubstantiated claims, and glossed over potential health risks.
In fact, so many individual cases have surfaced that the courts are considering consolidating the dozens of lawsuits into a single class-action suit.
The first trial is scheduled to take place next month in South Carolina.
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About 160 million women worldwide use the $800 device, according to mirenalawsuit.us, a website maintained by attorney Rochelle Rottenstein, who represents women who have been injured by the device. Solano is not one of her clients.
In February, Bayer began marketing a similar device, Skyla, aimed at teens and younger women.
Despite the known risks, the Obama administration has promoted the use of IUDs among American women.