Ethicon, a division of the giant Johnson & Johnson company has told a federal judge in West Virginia that it plans to stop selling vaginal mesh implants, in part because of hundreds of lawsuits filed against it by women who say they were damaged by the implants. Ethicon has asked for about three months to wind down production and get the products off the market.
More than 600 women thus far have sued, claiming internal injuries caused by the mesh eroding and shrinking over time.
The Food and Drug Administration has refused comment on the decision to stop selling the devices. However, an FDA report last year found that deaths or injuries had increased about 500% due to malfunctions possibly connected to vaginal mesh for organs that slump, or “prolapse,” because of weakened support. The FDA had said earlier this year that Johnson & Johnson had sold at least one of the implants for three years without proper government approval.