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Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $302m over pelvic mesh implant ads | California

A California appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that Johnson & Johnson must pay fines to the state for its deceptive marketing of pelvic retinal implants to women.

Johnson & Johnson appealed the appeal in 2020 after Supreme Court Justice Eddie Sturgeon assessed $344 million in fines against US drugmaker Ethicon.

Sturgeon discovered after a non-jury trial that the company had made misleading and potentially harmful statements in hundreds of thousands of advertisements and educational brochures over the course of nearly two decades.

California’s 4th District Court of Appeals ruled Monday that $42 million in fines assessed on the company’s sales offers to physicians were unjustified because there was no evidence of what the salespeople actually said. As a result, the court reduced the amount to 302 million dollars.

However, the appeals court said Sturgeon fish received ample evidence that Ethicon deliberately deceived doctors and patients about the risks posed by its products, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Ryan Karpin, a spokesman for Johnson & Johnson, told the Chronicle that the company will appeal the appeals court ruling to the state Supreme Court.

“Ethicon has responsibly communicated the risks and benefits of its transvaginal mesh products to clinicians and patients in full compliance with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations,” he said.

Instructions for use in all company’s pelvic mesh implant packages “fake or omit the full scope, severity, duration, and cause of complications associated with Ethicon pelvic mesh products, as well as the potential for irreversibility and catastrophic consequences,” Chief Justice Judith McConnell, Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 ruling. Upholding $302 million in fines.

The court also said the fines were not excessive, as “the court found that … Johnson & Johnson has a net worth of over $70.4 billion,” according to court documents.

“The lower court’s civil penalty ($343,993,750) and the amended civil penalty ($302,037,500) make up less than half one percent of Johnson & Johnson’s net worth. Given these numbers, it is clear that Ethicon has a significant ability to pay the penalty sentence. Civil.

Several women have sued the New Jersey-based company claiming that the mesh caused severe pain, bleeding, inflammation and discomfort during intercourse and the need to have it surgically removed.

It is estimated that the condition affects 3% to 17% of women, and sometimes becomes severe after age 70.

Pelvic mesh is surgically inserted to treat conditions, including stress incontinence, bladder leakage and organ prolapse, which can cause pain and pressure during urinary movements and during intercourse.

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