WASHINGTON- blog.seattlepi.com reports that the state of Washington has filed a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson over the company’s alleged failure to disclose risks presented by surgical mesh implants.
The Washington State Attorney General is claiming that the company has not been forthcoming about the known “debilitating, life-altering complications” that can result from mesh implants. The instructions for the devices, which were sold from 1999 through 2015, do not include information about the painful side-effects of mesh implants.
Bob Ferguson, the State’s Attorney General, stated that women in the state would “suffer for the rest of their lives,” because of the company’s decision to prioritize money over the patients. The lawsuit seeks to find that Johnson & Johnson violated consumer laws by misrepresenting the risks associated with the product.
The mesh implants are manufactured by the company and promoted as ways to treat two conditions commonly suffered by women- stress urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. Both conditions involve the shifting of organs in the body. The mesh is designed to hold the organs in place. The conditions can be treated with non-surgical methods as well.
The mesh is meant to be a permanent implant. When complications occur, it can be difficult or even impossible to remove the mesh.
Questions regarding the safety of vaginal mesh implants started mounting in 2007. Johnson & Johnson stopped selling its devices in Australia after it came under scrutiny for being unsafe and ineffective. Despite removing the device from the Australian market, the company continued to promote the product in the United States without ever mentioning to physicians that the device was no longer available in Australia because of the dangerous side-effects.
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