In 2018, ASHES was instrumental in pressuring the FDA to place new restrictions on the device Essure, as well as the manufacturer Bayer's decision to take Essure off the market in the United States.
Just a few days before the documentary The Bleeding Edge hit Netflix, Bayer withdrew Essure from the market in the USA, the only country where Essure remained.
ASHES nonprofit was born from a grassroots movement to fight and remove a
medical device called Essure from the market. Our fight was won in July of 2018,
when Bayer announced it would be discontinuing sales of Essure in the United States,
the last market that offered Essure. Our 7 year battle to get Essure off the market
is over. However, there is still much work to be done!
To visit the Essure Problems website click this link.
To join our support group on facebook, click here:
ASHES Non Profit, a (501) (c)3 organization
Advocating Safety in Healthcare E-Sisters (ASHES) is a nonprofit organization founded by Angie Firmalino in 2015. The organization is run by a board of directors, who have been advocating and raising awareness regarding the dangers of a permanent birth control device called Essure. We help administer Essure Problems, a growing Facebook group with over 42,000 members, mostly consisting of women harmed by Essure. For seven years we have helped educate women concerning the potential risks associated with the device. We have also assisted thousands of women by providing emotional support, educational files and graphics, helping injured women finding competent doctors, and sharing detailed and updated information about proper Essure removal, provided to us by physicians, in order to prevent women from suffering catastrophic botched removal surgeries. We have even been there on many occasions to talk women down from suicidal ideations, either by messenger or direct contact on the phone. My admin team and I have volunteered countless hours, days, months, and years, and have been 100% dedicated to this group and our fight to get Essure off the market.
After several years of running the Facebook group and being advocates for the women who experienced complications from the Essure procedure, we realized there was a dire need for proper and complete education and information regarding many medical devices. However, this urgent need involves raising funds to continue our fight. Up to this point, all of our advocacy work has been paid for out of our own pockets; which was becoming a huge burden for many of us. From that need, ASHES was born.
ASHES nonprofit exists to educate and inform women and men regarding the potential dangers of medical devices and the importance of researching as well as HOW to research, any medical device recommended by their physician. It also provides instruction on how to advocate on behalf of those harmed by medical devices. ASHES also fights to raise awareness about the pitfalls of our FDA’s medical device approval processes and post market surveillance, and to help bring about much needed changes to these practices. ASHES was instrumental in getting three bills introduced in Congress regarding Essure and other medical devices covered by PMA, and Medical Device Safety.
ASHES relies solely on donations to the nonprofit to fund advocacy trips, rallies, events, and lobbying efforts. While we do not allocate funds to any individuals harmed by devices directly, we use funding for educational materials, travel costs, rally supplies, mailings, operational costs, etc. The goal is to PREVENT others from suffering the same devastating harm that each of us has experienced personally from a medical device, and to fight for the rights of those who have been harmed.
Our current focus is on The Medical Device Safety Act of 2019, a bill currently in Congress, which if passed, will restore a patient's right to litigation if harmed by a Class III medical device. ASHES members will also be working with other advocacy groups to get a bill introduced in Congress, which will revise the 510K process of medical device approval.
Donations to our nonprofit will help us continue our efforts in Congress to fight for changes to the FDA’s outdated and corrupt system of device approval. They also assist us in continuing to spread awareness through social media, websites, and allow us to continue to host rallies, protests, and patient engagement events.