Product News and Recalls

Government investigating J&J over medical devices

Johnson & Johnson has disclosed that the government is investigating possible false claims connected to two of the company’s medical devices, Bloomberg reports.

The ASR artificial hip implant, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, has been the basis of about 10,000 lawsuits based on their tendency to break down early and leave toxic metal debris in patients’ bodies.

And at least 1,800 lawsuits are pending in the case of Prolift vaginal mesh implants, used to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Complaints about the vaginal implants, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, include organ perforation, infection and chronic pain.

Johnson & Johnson recalled the hip implants in 2010. And in August, the company stopped selling four mesh devices in the U.S., including Prolift, claiming it was taking that action because of the products’ lack of commercial viability and not because of safety concerns.

For both of the devices, lawyers representing the plaintiffs claim the company was aware that they were dangerous for years before taking them off the market.

Reuters reports that the U.S. Justice Department requested documents relating to the question of whether DePuy submitted false claims to federal health-care programs over its ASR hip implants. And California is leading a multistate investigation into the marketing of surgical mesh.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a Johnson & Johnson product. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip or transvaginal mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-02-22/j-and-j-discloses-government-investigations-of-hips-mesh