Girardi | Keese

Johnson and Johnson to Pull Vaginal Mesh Off The Market

Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit announced that it would discontinue sales of four types of defective medical products. Ethicon's vaginal mesh product has been linked to many personal injuries and wrongful deaths. Over 600 lawsuits have been filed in connection with vaginal mesh implants which have severely injured patients.

"We are happy to see that Ethicon finally decided to do the right thing and stop selling these products," said one personal injury attorney.

The J&J announcement covers the Prolift, Prolift+ M, TVT Secur and Prosima surgical mesh products. The company has asked the Food and Drug Administration for 120 days to inform doctors and patients of the decision.

Vaginal mesh implants are used to treat a condition called "pelvic organ prolapse" which happens when weakened tissues fail to hold organs into place. Lawsuits began popping up after many patients experienced shrinking or otherwise failing mesh implants. Failing mesh implants are often very painful and require corrective surgery, although the company isn't fully acknowledging how dangerous its mesh medical devices are.

"We came to this decision after carefully considering numerous factors including the commercial viability of these products in competitive and declining worldwide markets, the complexities of the regulatory environments in which we operate, and the availability of other treatment options for women," an Ethicon spokesman said. "We continue to have confidence in the safety and efficacy of these products."

Source: Bloomberg News, "J&J Tells Judge It Will Stop Sales Of Vaginal Implants," Alex Nussbaum and Jef Feeley, June 5, 2012

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