Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary will pay more than $116 million in a multi-state settlement over deceptive marketing of a transvaginal surgical mesh device.
Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon allegedly misrepresented the safety and effectiveness of the mesh device, violating state consumer protection laws. The multi-state investigation revealed that the companies “misrepresented or failed to adequately disclose the product’s possible side effects, including the risk of chronic pain and inflammation, mesh erosion, incontinence developing after surgery and other complications related to the implantation of the device,” according to a release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office.
Forty-one states, including Arkansas, as well as the District of Columbia, participated in the settlement. As part of the settlement, Johnson & Johnson will pay $116.86 million, as will as injunctive relief and full disclosure of the device’s risks. Arkansas is set to receive $1,855,302.53 of the total settlement amount.
“Arkansas moms, sisters and daughters have been deceived by false claims of Johnson & Johnson, and now they must endure irrevocable damage to their bodies,”Rutledge said in a statement. “This settlement confirms these victims have been heard, and I will remain diligent to protect Arkansans from companies not following the law.”
Johnson & Johnson has been hit with multiple lawsuits recently. These lawsuits range from suits involving the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal and opioids. A Philadelphia court ruled Johnson & Johnson would have to pay $8 billion in punitive damages, a ruling that the company believes is “grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award” and hopes to get overturned. In early October, the company also settled for more than $20 million with two Ohio companies over opioids.
“Life sciences has always been targeted,” Johnson & Johnson CFO Joseph said in an interview. “We are targets, unfortunately, it’s the business in which …we’ve decided to play in.”
The full list of participating states includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.