Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has been ordered to pay over $340 million in penalties to the state of California following a ruling that the company employed deceptive and false marketing for its pelvic mesh product for women.
J&J subsidiary failed to reveal risks of the pelvic mesh devices
California Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon delivered the ruling against the company in a lawsuit filed against it by the California Department of Justice. The state indicated that the company’s subsidiary Ethicon, failed to inform doctors and patients of the potential complications of the pelvic mesh devices. Equally, it misrepresented the severity and frequency of the risks the devices posed.
In a statement Xavier Becerra, the California Attorney General indicated that J&J was aware of the risks of the pelvic mesh products but still chose profits and disregarded the health of millions of women. The devices which are also called transvaginal mesh are surgically implanted in women with sagging pelvic organs through the vagina. Equally, they were meant for those women suffering from stress urinary incontinence, especially when sneezing, coughing, or lifting heavy objects.
While delivering the ruling, the judge indicated that J&J’s marketing demonstrated the benefits for the products, but it misstated omitted and downplayed the possible risks of the pelvic mesh devices. Judge Sturgeon indicated that the company was aware of the risks and knew that they were supposed to disclose the risks.
J&J has been hit with a series of lawsuits in recent times
A lot of women are suing the company with claims that the device caused severe pain, infections, bleeding, discomfort during intercourse as well as requiring surgery to remove it. Johnson & Johnson has faced a series of lawsuits in recent times of side effects of its drugs, allegations about its baby powder causing cancer as well as its role in the US opioid epidemic.
The company spokesperson Mindy Tinsley has, however, indicated that the company will appeal the ruling. She says that the state didn’t provide evidence to prove its assertions.