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J&J ordered to pay USD 302 Mn over deceptive pelvic mesh implant ads

J&J ordered to pay USD 302 Mn over deceptive pelvic mesh implant ads

Johnson & Johnson has reportedly been ordered by a California appeals court to pay nearly USD 302 million as a penalty to the state over deceptive marketing of pelvic mesh implants.

The pharma giant appealed in 2020 after Eddie Sturgeon, the superior court judge, evaluated penalties worth USD 344 million against its subsidiary Ethicon. After a non-jury trial, Sturgeon found that Johnson & Johnson made potentially harmful and misleading statements through thousands of instructional brochures and advertisements over nearly twenty years.

The fourth district court of appeals in California published a ruling that USD 42 million in penalties evaluated for J&J’s sales pitches to doctors lacked evidence and thus were unjustified. Therefore, the court reduced the amount to USD 302 million.

Nevertheless, the appeals court stated that the superior court judge received sufficient evidence that the subsidiary deliberately deceived both patients and physicians about the risks associated with its products.

According to a spokesperson close to the matter, Johnson & Johnson will appeal the ruling of the appeals court to the state supreme court.

The usage instructions in all the pelvic mesh implant packages of the company omitted or falsified the complete severity, range, cause, and duration of complications related to the pelvic mesh products of Ethicon in addition to the potentially catastrophic and irreversible consequences.

As per court documents, the fines imposed on the pharma giant are not excessive considering its net worth of over USD 70.4 billion. It added that the civil penalty of USD 343,993,750 as well as the revised civil penalty of USD 302,037,500 each account for nearly half a percent of J&J’s net worth. Considering these figures, Ethicon is sufficiently able to pay the civil penalty.

Several women have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that the pelvic mesh caused bleeding, severe pain, discomfort during intercourse, infections, and the necessity of surgical removal.

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Meghna Singh

An English Literature graduate, Meghna Singh ventured into the profession of content development to incorporate her knack for writing articles across verticals including technology, healthcare, business, and alike for News Origins and Newsorigins. She has also completed her MBA in Tourism and worked as a content creator in the field of product development.