WV Attorney General suing Johnson & Johnson over surgical mesh marketing

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a suit against Johnson and Johnson and subsidiary companies Ethicon Inc. and Ethicon US, LLC. (Courtesy: West Virginia Attorney General's Office)
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV)-- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a suit against Johnson and Johnson and subsidiary companies Ethicon Inc. and Ethicon US, LLC.

According to a press release for the Attorney General's office, the lawsuit alleges that the companies engaged in unlawful, unfair and deceptive marketing practices associated with their surgical mesh devices.

“Misrepresenting any product’s safety is unlawful and can have dire effects on consumers,” Morrisey said. “When medical products are marketed in an improper manner, it can put consumers’ health at risk.”

The lawsuit claims Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon misrepresented the effectiveness, properties, risks and safety history of the products in marketing and educational materials provided to patients and doctors, in person meetings and in published medical articles.

The informational and marketing materials for the companies surgical mesh devices consistently omitted or concealed complications, the lawsuit claims.

The surgical mesh products were misrepresented as by approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the lawsuit states. The products were not tested in clinical trials to obtain FDA approval prior to their initial sale but were instead cleared by a less rigorous approval process.

The lawsuit claims Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. It is seeking penalties and a permanent injunction to prevent the companies from marketing, advertising, promoting, offering for sale, selling or distributing their surgical mesh products in West Virginia.