Kentucky AG accuses Johnson & Johnson of deceptive marketing of vaginal implants

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear filed a civil lawsuit Monday against Johnson & Johnson and its medical device unit, Ethicon, alleging deceptive marketing of surgical mesh medical devices for women.

Mr. Beshear is accusing Johnson & Johnson of failing to follow recommendations by its own staff to include more complete disclosures of the risk for such devices. Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic woven fabric implanted through the vagina to treat common pelvic floor conditions that 30 to 50 percent of all women experience.

Mr. Beshear said in a statement that more than 15,000 women had transvaginal mesh implanted without Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon providing sufficient information about the known hazards so women and their physicians could make informed treatment decisions.

The lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in civil penalties under Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act.

In an emailed response to the Associated Press Tuesday, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon called the lawsuits "unjustified."

"The evidence will show that Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the marketing of our pelvic mesh products," the company said according to an Associated Press report published by The Washington Post. "The use of implantable mesh is often the preferred option to treat certain female pelvic conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, and is backed by years of clinical research."

Read the full lawsuit here.


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