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Greg Webb
Greg Webb
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Johnson & Johnson – Ethicon Stoping Sale of Some Vaginal Mesh Implants

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After having been sued by 600 women who maintain that vaginal mesh implants caused them internal injuries, Johnson & Johnson Ethicon has informed federal judge Joseph R. Goodwin of Charleston, West Virginia, it will stop selling vaginal mesh implants in the U.S. and throughout the world.

According to an article in Bloomberg News, June 5, by Alex Nussbaum and Jeff Feeley, J&J Ethicon has requested approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop making the devices commercially available and has requested 120 days within which to formally end sales and make hospitals, physicians and surgeons aware, so that alternative methods of treatment can be selected for patients.

J & J will halt sales of the Prolift, Prolift+ M, TVT Secur and Prosima surgical meshes and hopes to be able to continue to sell the Gynecare Gynemesh with a labeling change that restricts its use only for abdominal implantations. While J&J Ethicon is discontinuing the sale of the vaginal mesh implants, it is not recalling the vaginal mesh implants which are currently in use. An FDA report last year found a five-fold increase in the number of deaths due to "injuries or malfunctions tied to vaginal mesh implants."

In addition to J&J’s involvement in litigation over the vaginal mesh implants, patients have also sued C.R. Bard Inc. (BCR); and Endo Health Solutions Inc., as well as other manufacturers of vaginal mesh implants. Following yesterday’s announcement, J&J stock fell only 1%, to $62.21 per share, by the New York Stock Exchange’s closing bell.