Friday, April 15, 2016 — Women were more angry with the FDA than with Bayer, the company that makes Essure, when the permanent birth control device was allowed to stay on the market, according to a data analysis released today by Treato, the single largest source of online consumer insights on healthcare, of more than 6,000 tweets from February 29th- March 16th. On February 29th the FDA announced that it would not be withdrawing Essure from the market and instead would mandate a black box warning. Essure has reportedly been linked with 300 fetal deaths and the FDA has received more than 5,000 complaints since the product’s market introduction in 2002. While both the FDA and Bayer are being discussed as criminally negligent, patients and advocacy groups assign culpability to the FDA more than Bayer. The FDA is spoken of as the failed protector because, women said, they expect this type of criminal behavior from the "Big Pharma." The FDA is often being discussed as having favored Bayer at the cost of women’s health. In addition, women are frequently seen calling out Bill Maisel, the Chief Scientist and Deputy Center Director for Science at FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, as being incapable of making decisions about women’s health because of he has been arrested for hiring prostitutes. They specifically call for his resignation. Women are also frequently seen using Essure as an example to further call attention to the importance of women's rights through the use of popular hashtags #iamreal, #wearereal and #waronwomen.
An in-depth analysis also revealed that people are connecting Bayer to Essure, but it is limited as the company receives less blame than its product Essure. When patients are discussing Bayer they are saying that the company bought the FDA’s loyalty. Other language frequently used when discussing the company included “not trustworthy”, “focused on the bottom line”, “criminal” and “corrupt”.
In the more than 6,000 tweets analyzed, advocate Erin Brockovich was the most influential tweeter with her content being shared the most frequently. Other top influencers included Representative Mike Fitzpatrick and Dr. E Scott Sills. The most active tweeters were all women who have personally been affected by Essure.
"The power of online patient forums is undeniable," says Ido Hadari, CEO of Treato. "That women harmed by Essure were able to band together and demand the FDA's attention shows that more power is shifting to patients.”
For more information visit Treato’s Essure Twitter analysis.
TreatoVoice is a unique data asset that continuously collects and analyzes more than two and a half billion patient and caregiver conversations happening across the Internet in real-time to understand what patients are saying about their experiences with their conditions and treatments. For this data analysis Treato collected and analyzed more than 6,000 Essure related tweets from February 29th- March 16th.