Mirena IUD Marketing Controversy

Bayer marketed the Mirena IUD to “busy moms,” according to a letter the FDA sent the company in 2009, and used a social networking web site called “Mom Central” to organize Mirena IUD parties either at people’s homes or at restaurants. At the parties, a representative from Mom Central and a nurse practitioner would together explain the benefits of using a Mirena IUD, using scripted language that suggested a Mirena IUD would improve a woman’s intimacy and romance with their partners, as well as make them “look and feel great.” The FDA warned:

“These claims misleadingly overstate the proven efficacy of Mirena. Mirena has been proven to be an effective intrauterine contraceptive device. While we note that Mirena does not involve a daily routine and is not a barrier method of contraception, FDA is not aware of any evidence that suggests that women using Mirena for birth control experience an increase in reconnection, romance, or intimacy with their partners.”

The FDA letter also chided Bayer for failing to include information about the Mirena IUD’s side effects and making misleading statements about the monthly or daily routines necessary to ensure the Mirena IUD’s proper functioning.

Bayer has since ceased its marketing campaign with Mom Central, but those marketing efforts might have influenced many women to use the Mirena IUD without fully knowing of its side effects.

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