COLUMBUS, Ohio -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Citing their personal health problems and costs incurred, Ohio women who have been seriously injured by pelvic mesh implants requested that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine investigate the pelvic mesh industry for its dangerous implants.
“We call for Attorney General Mike DeWine to investigate the pelvic mesh industry for selling dangerous products to women throughout Ohio. The damage this product has caused already has cost taxpayers too much money through Medicaid and other state public health systems,” stated Jane Akre, who has been organizing survivors of pelvic mesh implants for more than five years.
Pelvic mesh-related health care costs are paid by the State and/or the Ohio Department of Human Services through their statutory medical program, established pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 5111.01 et seq.
Under the Ohio Medicaid program, ORC Section 5111.01 et seq., the State, in financial partnership with the federal government, provides financial assistance for a broad range of health care services to eligible low-income Ohio residents. A significant portion of the monies that the State has paid out and will continue to pay out to recipients under the Ohio Medicaid program is for health care costs attributable to pelvic mesh-related injuries.
“Across Ohio, women are being hurt by the pelvic mesh industry including Johnson & Johnson and the company’s top executive, CEO Alex Gorsky,” added Akre. “Pelvic mesh implants are perhaps the most dangerous product to women’s health on the market today. Gorsky should immediately pull pelvic mesh off the market, and his delay in doing so is a slap in the face to women across Ohio.”
More than 70,000 separate lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of pelvic mesh implants. Local survivors in Ohio signed on to today’s request for an investigation.
“Pelvic mesh has ruined my life,” stated survivor Barbara Lucas of Ohio. “I'm stuck to the bed, and no one cares. I was working 40 hours a week, and now I'm on disability because of the damage done. Attorney General DeWine, please help us.”
According to the letter, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and its CEO Alex Gorsky may be in violation of Chapter 4165 of the Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act for the corporation’s knowledge of the inherent danger of the mesh implants as well as the destruction of documents about the products’ safety.
Indicating that Johnson & Johnson knew how harmful pelvic mesh implants were, the corporation destroyed thousands of documents regarding the safety and efficacy of the implants. Although top company executives initially denied it, a magistrate judge found that Ethicon, the wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that manufactured the implants, destroyed documents pertaining to their effectiveness and safety as far back as 2007. Alex Gorsky, the current Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, was named head of Ethicon in 2008, before most of the documents were destroyed, and has continued to oversee it in his climb through the company’s ranks.
Click here to see the letter to Attorney General DeWine.
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