WFAA's Janet. St. James
WFAA-TV's reporter Janet St. James has been on the mesh story for years and broke a story today that the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is leading a nationwide investigation into Johnson & Johnson and its deceptive trade operations.
St. James says there are ten other states that have joined a nationwide investigation concerning its hernia mesh and polypropylene mesh used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
She reports the investigation has been ongoing for two years.
Two weeks ago, Corporate Action Network and a number of mesh-injured women sent a letter to AG Abbott to lend their support to an aggressive investigation. See the letter here. Readers of Mesh News Desk have been asked to lend their name and city to the letter so the AG understands they are taxpayers of that state who are essentially covering the costs of the alleged deception.
Corporate Action Network is a consumer group which has urged an investigation into whether the company shredded documents related to how it brought pelvic mesh to market and to its safety and efficacy, all part of a J&JHurtsWomen campaign.
In addition to Texas, the 9 other states include Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, Washington State, California, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. Additionally CAN has sent letters to AG's urging the investigation into J&J to Mississippi, New York and Arkansas.
St. James reports the "possible violations" include the false marketing, advertising, promotion, sale and distribution of surgical mesh products.
Aaron Leigh Horton, The Mesh Warrior Foundation
AG Abbott has demanded J&J and its subsidiary, Ethicon, provide documents that show how the company justified the safety of polypropylene mesh, including all research, as well as the financial conflict-of-interest payments made to consultant/doctors who promote mesh products and train others to use them.
J&J has been warned not to destroy any documents related to this investigation. Unfortunately the company has already been found to have destroyed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents relating to the marketing of mesh by a Magistrate Judge in West Virginia. See the background story here.
Aaron Leigh Horton, founder of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, (here) was featured in the story and urged the investigation uncover how pelvic mesh products made it to market. "Where was the breakdown?" she asks.
J&J did not respond to WFAA-Television to comment on the story by the time it was produced. Mesh News Desk editor, Jane Akre, is currently working as a spokesperson for Corporate Action Network. #
WFAA-TV story, reporter Janet St. James
The Mesh Warrior Foundation
PTO # 100 Magistrate Cheryl Eifert on Document Destruction
Ethicon Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, 12-MD-02327
In re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
Joseph R. Goodwin, presiding
What was Lost in J&J Purge of Ethicon Transvaginal Mesh Documents?
Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Finding of Spoliation and for Sanctions
in the Ethicon multidistrict litigation, MDL 12-MD-02327,
Plaintiffs’ Memorandum in Support of Their Motion for a Finding of Spoilage and for Sanctions