New York Attorney General Letitia James and her Connecticut counterpart William Tong have announced their respective states will be receiving funds as part of a $117 million multi-state settlement involving Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon Inc. and the marketing of their transvaginal surgical mesh devices.
Transvaginal surgical mesh is a synthetic material that is surgically implanted through the vagina to support the pelvic organs of women who suffer from stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.
Forty states and the District of Columbia sued the companies, accusing them of endangering the health of women by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of the devices and not properly disclosing the risks associated with their use.
New York will receive $5.2 million under the terms of the settlement and Connecticut will receive $1.96 million.
“Health and safety must come before profits,” said James. “While Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary were putting income before the health of people in need of care, women were put in danger. My office will never waver in its efforts to hold companies accountable for risking the health of its consumers.”
“Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon falsely marketed these devices as safe and failed to warn women of serious side effects,” added Tong. “These practices were unlawful and unacceptable. This significant settlement – the fourth-largest consumer protection health fraud multi-state settlement in U.S. history – sends a clear message that states will aggressively pursue such deceptive medical marketing cases.
“In addition to the $116.9 million fine,” Tong added, “the companies have agreed to a series of important changes to their marketing practices to ensure patients have knowledge about all relevant risks associated with these devices.”