Transvaginal mesh is a surgical implant that is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. The purpose of the mesh is to support the sagging organs and repair damaged tissue. While most of the patients who have vaginal mesh implants have success, several thousand women have experienced excruciating complications. The mesh can begin to poke through the vaginal wall and migrate to other areas. This can cause vaginal scarring, fistula formation, sex that becomes painful, and pain in the legs, back, and pelvis. Because the mesh implants are designed to be permanent, removal of the mesh can become impossible or require several hours of surgery.
My Northwest reports that West Virginia’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson claiming the companies misrepresented the risks of mesh implants.
On Wednesday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a consumer protection suit against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Ethicon. He said that the companies disseminated misleading information about the mesh. He also claimed that the companies used studies written by paid consultants.
West Virginia is joining California, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Washington, who have filed similar suits against the companies.
In April, the Food and Drug Administration stopped sales of the mesh after years of injury reports and tens of thousands of lawsuits filed against the companies.
Ethicon issued a statement on Wednesday stating that the company had acted ethically in its research, development, and marketing of its implants. The company also stated that it would defend itself vigorously against the charges levied by West Virginia’s attorney general.
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