Bayer’s Contraceptive Controversy

Bayer AG  (BAYN)

When you visit your doctor, you expect to receive honest advice about your health.  But, the pharmaceutical company, Bayer, has taken this an opportunity to push their products into your system.

Bayer, the company behind many household brands including Claritin, Coppertone, Aleve, and Aspirin, paid 11,850 doctors over $2.5 million in “consultation fees” starting in 2013.  These doctors would receive significant payments and coincidentally would heavily recommend and prescribe its contraceptive product Essure to women.

Essure is implanted in a woman’s fallopian tubes and causes scar tissue to form and block the tubes so that sperm can no longer travel to the egg. It is a permanent procedure that renders a woman sterile and unable to become pregnant for the duration of her life.  Though this product has been used over 750,000 times since 2002, several concerns have arisen lately about the safety of the product.

In April of 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an order that restricted the sale and distribution of Essure due to patients not being provided with “adequate risk information” by their doctors.  More than 10,600 women have claimed that Essure has resulted in serious health issues for them.  Device migration, organ perforation, autoimmune disorders, and accidental pregnancies have affected these women.  There is currently a class action law suit against Bayer for these injuries.  Also, a Netflix documentary titled "The Bleeding Edge" about the lives of the women who suffered has just been released.  Bayer has announced they will discontinue the product by the end of 2018.

IWP Capital currently lists Bayer as a "Fail" due to their contraceptive production.  As of July 27, 2018, their stock price is down -4.93% Year To Date and their 1-year and 3-year trailing returns are down -11.78% and -7.58% respectively.  Many analysts are downgrading the stock to a "Sell" recommendation amid the Essure controversy.