Australian women sue pharmaceutical firm over sterilization device

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Australian women

Australian women will pursue a class action lawsuit over a sterilisation device that has allegedly caused medical problems for women worldwide.

The lawsuit against German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, maker of the Essure implant, will follow similar actions in the UK, US and Canada.

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The product was withdrawn from sale in the US in July. Bayer had already stopped sales in all other nations, citing commercial reasons.

Women with the implant have reported problems such as chronic pain and adverse reactions to nickel.

However, Bayer has defended the Essure device as safe.

“We continue to stand behind the product’s safety and efficacy, which are demonstrated by an extensive body of research,” the company said in July.

Australian firm Slater and Gordon said the lawsuit would examine whether the device, sold in the country from 2010, was “inherently defective”. The small coil implants, which are made of nickel and polyester (PET) fibres, were used as a sterilisation device to stop eggs reaching the womb.

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They were inserted into the fallopian tubes and designed to trigger inflammation, causing scar tissue to build up and eventually block the tubes, known as a hysteroscopic sterilisation.

“For the women who have experienced complications it has been incredibly damaging,” Slater and Gordon lawyer Ebony Birchall said.

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