Pharmaceutical and medical device giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced earlier this month that it will stop selling four types of mesh implants used to treat urinary incontinence. According to this New York Times article, J&J made the accouncement in a letter to judges overseeing two large groups of lawsuits filed by women who claim the devices caused serious injury.
In a public statement, J&J emphasized that the discontinued sales of the urinary implants was not a recall, but rather that the decision was based on the products’ commercial viability “in light of changing market dynamics, and is not related to safety or efficacy.”
The urinary implants, which are used to treat incontinence caused by muscle weakening and pelvic organ prolapsed, have come under fire in recent years for causing serious injuries, including infections, pain, and other complications. In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers that the implants were associated with complications, but that such complications were rare. Between 2008 and 2010, however, the FDA reported a substantial increase – a fivefold increase – in the number of injuries reported. Earlier this year, the FDA ordered manufacturers of the urinary implants to conduct further studies regarding the safety and risks associated with the medical implants.
The removal of the urinary implants from the market has been heralded as a positive development for women’s health. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and Families, a public health advocacy group, told the New York Times, “This is very good news for women because it takes several products off the market that have harmed a lot of women.” However, she said, “the bad news is that there are many other surgical meshes still on the market that are just as dangerous.” Other device makers that also sell surgical mesh products include Boston Scientific, C. R. Bard and W. L. Gore & Associates.
The Chicago medical malpractice law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC is committed to protecting the victims of substandard medical care and unsafe medical devices. If you have received one of the discontinued urinary mesh implants, do not hesitate to contact the skilled Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim.