Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) will pay $60 million to 48 U.S. states to resolve allegations that its C.R. Bard business deceptively marketed transvaginal surgical mesh devices, state attorneys general in California and Washington announced today.
Mesh products were meant to treat the weakening of the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman’s pelvic organs, but they instead sparked thousands of lawsuits citing harm including pain, excessive bleeding and loss of sexual function. They’ve produced millions in settlements for the plaintiffs and a series of recalls for the defendants.
Bard stopped selling its pelvic mesh products in the United States by the end of 2016; BD bought Bard for $24 billion the next year.
“Women should be able to trust that the health products they use are safe,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a news release. “Misleading patients and neglecting to disclose risks or side effects of medical products is dangerous, irresponsible, even deadly. Bard was caught engaging in these shameful practices, and for that, they now pay.”
BD said in a statement shared with MassDevice: “Bard and BD have denied any wrongdoing and all allegations included in the litigation and chose to settle the matter to avoid the time and expense of further litigation”
FDA ordered manufacturers to stop selling pelvic mesh last year. (A group of U.S. and British researchers concluded earlier this year that the agency should have acted sooner.)
Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas joined California and Washington in investigating Bard over alleged deceptive marketing. The multistate settlement also includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.