I must admit, that I am a little behind the eight ball on this nugget of news, so please forgive me for not informing you all sooner. It has recently come to my attention that Hologic, the company that makes the Adiana permanent contraception system will no longer be offering this product. I know, let's take a movement for a collective sigh... "ohhh." The good news is that there still may be some Adiana inventory at your local doctor's office, so if this is a permanent method you are interested in receiving, it's time to jump on it before they're all gone.
Well, my awesome readers, I thought that in an attempt to make up for not reporting this news to you back in April (I know, ugh, shame on me) when Hologic made its official announcement, I would do a little digging to see if I can find out the real reason for why Hologic would just come out one day and announce that they would be discontinuing their product. Sure, on their website, they say this decision was based on financial reasons... that Adiana was not bringing in the big bucks that they were anticipating. But, this sounded a little too suspicious to me.
So, I put on my detective gear and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in year's worth of court room drama. From what I can ascertain, Conceptus (the makers of Essure, Adiana's rival) never wanted Adiana to hit the marketplace to begin with, and have been filing injunction hearings ever since (and maybe even before) Adiana even received FDA approval. Now that doesn't sound like "friendly competition" to me... hmmm.
Well, to summarize my whole afternoon's worth of litigation research and detective work, it seems to me that Hologic was, in a sense, forced to agree to stop making and selling Adiana. In a series of too many law suits to count, it boiled down to Conceptus suing Hologic for patent infringement where the court found the company guilty of infringing upon 3 method claims. Conceptus was offered oodles of money (over $18 million) and a 20% royalty award -- which they declined in hopes of suing for more money.
Fast forward through many more legal actions, and the two companies decided to make their own agreements. I guess with it's hand forced behind its back due to the enormous amount of damages Hologic would have to pay, Conceptus used this moment of weakness to agree to relieve Hologic's debt if they agreed to permanently stop all production and sales of Adiana (worldwide) and hand over the licensing rights and intellectual property guiding Adiana's technology.
To me, this just seems like another one of those stories where greed gets the best of you. Even the judge in one of the hearings expressed concern that these were not "copycat procedures"-- remarking that public interest would suffer if only Essure was left on the market. Banning the sale of Adiana only leaves us women with ONE choice for a non-surgical permanent alternative to tubal ligation. Because the two systems were different, the discontinuation of Adiana has taken away a potential alternative. Public health will no longer see these benefits because (and I hate to even say it) CHOICE has been taken away from us women. And at the end of the day, this is what bugs me the most.
I found it ironic to read Conceptus' mission statement: Revolutionizing women's healthcare with innovative solutions. Across the homepage of their website it reads, "Founded in 1992, Conceptus is dedicated to the revolutionary design, development, and marketing of innovative solutions to advance women's health." I don't want to be the one to say it, but does this company practice what it preaches? If your goal is revolutionizing and advancing women's healthcare, then why would you go to such EXTREME lengths to knock out your one and only competitor in the field of contraception? To me, "innovative solutions" conveys images of choice and options. Now, if I am not a good candidate for their innovative, non-surgical permanent contraception method of Essure (but would be for Adiana), I no longer have the CHOICE to share in the other inventive and novel alternative approach to surgical tubal ligation.
By essentially forcing Adiana out of the marketplace and stripping me from being able to choose to obtain this safe, viable and innovative option, it really makes me wonder if Conceptus' true goal is advancing women's healthcare... seems more like their objective is advancing company revenue by trying to create a monopoly on the non-surgical, hysteroscopic sterilization market. And, to be truthful, I never did like to play the game of Monopoly... it tends to go on forever and nobody ever seems to win.
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Essure v. Adiana Photo © 2011 Dawn Stacey