A recent article in the Wall Street Journal states that the FBI is investigating Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The reason for this investigation is to look into the issues relating to the company’s power morcellator. A power morcellator is a device used for surgical procedures. These devices have come under intense scrutiny in recent years because of growing fears that using them can lead to increased cancer risks. As per the agency’s policy, the FBI is not commenting publicly on this situation and company officials have not acknowledged its existence at this point.
Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon announced a power morcellator recall last year after a large number of uterine fibroids surgical device lawsuits were filed across the country. The article, a link to which can be found here (subscription required), states that the FBI is looking into what Johnson & Johnson may have known about these power morcellator cancer risks before pulling their product off the market. At the time of the power morecellator recall, Ethicon controlled more than two-thirds of the overall market for these devices in the United States.
Allegations of Prior Knowledge
Allegations of possible knowledge of power morcellator cancer risks date back approximately a decade. Studies that were published indicated the possibility of a connection between these devices and the development of cancer. In addition, allegations have been made regarding some doctors warning manufacturers of these risks. The FDA has already placed a strong warning on these products but the agency has not been banned them from use in the United States.
Allegations of Lack of Reporting
In addition to the growing knowledge regarding power morcellator cancer concerns, the FBI is also apparently looking into accusations that doctors, hospitals and others who were using or marketing these devices were not reporting adverse events to the FDA. Federal law requires that adverse events be reported so that accurate statistics can be kept regarding these types of products. No word was given as to the current status of the investigation.
Power Morcellator Cancer Concerns Described
Power morcellators are devices that are used in procedures such as hysterectomies and the removal of uterine fibroids. They are seen as advantageous because they remove particles from the patient’s body in small pieces and use a laparoscopic approach. Doing so generally speeds up the recovery time for patients because the incision is very small. The risk for infection is also lowered because of the lack of a large incision. Unfortunately, removing these particles from the body, if they contain cancerous cells, can expose other parts of the body to cancer. This is what many power morcellator cancer lawsuits allege.
If you or someone you love has been harmed as a result of using this product during a procedure, you need to contact the power morcellator cancer lawyers at Parilman & Associates as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation. You can either email the firm or call 800-800-DRUG.