Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) attempted to stop health authorities in France from publishing a report which warned against the use of untested pelvic mesh devices for fear that it would damage their business, according to a new Guardian report.
The French report came 2 years after the devices began to see use in Australia, where the company is facing a lawsuit from hundreds of women who claim to have been left with chronic and debilitating pain, ruined sex lives and other side effects from the devices, according to the paper.
Prosecutors in the Australian case claim that internal documents show that J&J knew it lacked proper trials for the devices, according to the report. Prosecutors claim that Johnson & Johnson sought to stop a report from French health authority Haute Autorité de Santé which concluded that the meshes should only be used in clinical research until a proper randomized trial was conducted.
Internal documents from company meetings reportedly showed that the company feared the report “could have a major impact on our business if made public,” and went on to say that work was needed to “stop the publication of the report,” according to the Guardian.
Prosecutors in the case claim that J&J did not appropriately test the devices, and instead initiated an aggressive marketing campaign for the meshes, according to the paper. The case is still ongoing.
Last month, a Pennsylvania state court jury reportedly cleared J&J’s ethicon in the 4th pelvic mesh bellwether to go to trial in Philadelphia, despite finding that the company’s TVT-Secur product was defectively designed and that Ethicon failed to warn of its risks.