Thursday, November 21, 2019
For years, women use vaginal nets to strengthen the pelvic floor, even though the responsible US pharmaceutical company knows the risks. That's why many women suffer from chronic pain for years – and now they're right in court. For the group that is expensive.
More than 1,300 women in Australia have filed a class action lawsuit against the US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson for health disorders caused by defective vaginal implants. The Supreme Court in Sydney ruled that women were right, many of whom say they suffer from chronic pain. Judge Anna Katzmann said that the development of so-called vaginal nets ("vaginal mesh") was "negligent". The group had known the risks and downplayed risks connected with the nets. Johnson & Johnson now faces a heavy fine. Their height is to be determined in February. When the Australian Federal Court pronounced the verdict, there was much applause in the courtroom. The nets have been on sale in Australia for more than 10 years – until 2017. The synthetic fabric should help women who suffered from weak pelvic floor muscles or uncontrolled urine loss after birth. The nets should support over-stretched or cracked tissue. They were – similar to a hammock – fixed with an operation in the pelvis. Judge Katzmann said in the verdict that networks have never been properly tested. There was insufficient data on whether the networks are secure. "The risks were known, not insignificant, and could cause significant and serious damage – as the defendant itself acknowledged," said Katzmann. It would have been a "much more prudent approach". Instead, according to the Guardian, the nets were aggressively promoted to physicians – as a cheap and relatively harmless means of making a profit. Women who use such nets struggle with tissue damage, inflammation, and incontinence, among other things. Many sufferers stated that they could no longer have pain-free sex. One woman said in the procedure that the pain was so severe "as if I had a razor blade in the vagina." The nets were developed by the drug company Ethicon, which belongs to Johnson & Johnson. The lawsuit involved 1350 women. The process is just one of several against network implant manufacturers worldwide. In the US alone, tens of thousands of lawsuits are pending. Johnson & Johnson also faces numerous lawsuits in Europe.