Doctor: Ethicon Unethically Rushed Vaginal Mesh Device to Market
p>The current trial against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon over its vaginal mesh implants that is underway in New Jersey has added another witness testimony to its roster. The first witness was a former executive at Ethicon who testified that the device’s prototype was proven to have a high failure rate in preliminary testing, but was still rushed to approval. This time it was a urogynecology expert who testified against the device.
The expert testified that Ethicon never should have let the Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh device be marketed or sold because it caused the plaintiff in this case, Linda Gross, “to suffer excruciating pain and rendered her permanently unable to have sexual intercourse.” The urogynecology expert, Dr. Anne Weber, testified that “Ethicon should never have marketed or sold the Prolift as a treatment for POP and SUI in light of e-mails and presentations demonstrating that the company’s executives knew that the device had characteristics and caused complications that could lead to devastating injuries like the ones suffered by the plaintiff.” In fact, Weber testified that in marketing the Gynecare Prolift device, Executives at Ethicon were behaving in an unethical way when they chose not to list the device’s dangers on the label, and in lying about how successful and minimally invasive the surgery was.
The vaginal mesh device is used to help treat patients who are suffering from stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The condition is often caused by childbirth and menopause. For this lawsuit, the plaintiff says that she was first treated with the vaginal mesh device in 2006, and almost immediately began experiencing urinary complications, constant pain and swelling after she says her body rejected the implant. She claims it took twelve surgeries in an effort to remove the vaginal mesh device, but that it still causes her pain. She states that she has had 18 additional surgeries in total.