Johnson & Johnson has announced that it is withdrawing all talc baby powder products that are sold in the United States and Canada from the market. J&J, the world’s largest maker of health care products, faces thousands of lawsuits alleging that the talc in its powders caused cancer.
The company says that demand for its talc-based powders is declining, and blames that change in consumer habits on what it calls “misinformation around the safety of the product“. Investigations published by Reuters and The New York Times in 2018 showed that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc contained asbestos, a cancer risk, for four decades.
While Johnson & Johnson has claimed that the talc it sold was asbestos-free, internal company documents show that Johnson & Johnson received many reports over the years, starting in 1971, that its talc contained asbestos. Although J&J never turned the many reports they received over to the FDA or any other governmental regulatory agency, internally the company’s doctors, lawyers, scientists, mine managers, and executives discussed the asbestos problem.
There are approximately 19,400 cases pending against Johnson & Johnson nationwide claiming using J&J talc products caused cancer, including baby powder and Shower to Shower powder. There are two cancers that have been linked to talc powder: ovarian cancer, thought to be related to using talc powder for feminine hygiene purposes, and mesothelioma, a type of cancer related to exposure to asbestos.
Over one billion dollars in verdicts have been issued against Johnson & Johnson in trials of these talc cancer cases. There have been 15 trial verdicts issued against J&J; they have successfully defended 12 trials, and 7 resulted in mistrials. All of those trial wins were appealed and some of those appeals have been successful.
Johnson & Johnson has a cornstarch baby powder on the market, which will continue to be sold. Retailers will be allowed to sell the remaining Johnson & Johnson talc powder products that are in stock. J&J also plans to continue to sell talc baby powder to the rest of the world.
Women who use talcum powder are recommended to switch to arrowroot, cornstarch, or any other non-talc powder. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after using talc powder, call the talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a confidential, no-charge consultation. Thornton Law Firm has represented victims of asbestos exposure for 40 years. Call 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a thorough, comprehensive evaluation of your legal rights. If you have developed cancer and believe your cancer is related to your use of baby powder or other talc powder, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Do not delay seeking legal advice.
Heartburn Drug Ranitidine (Brand Name Zantac) Recalled
On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 the FDA requested the immediate removal of all Zantac and ranitidine products from the market by manufacturers. The FDA has been studying the cancer-causing properties of Zantac and its generic equivalents since it announced in September 2019 that NDMA was found in some samples.
NDMA, which stands for N-nitrosodimethylamine, is classified as a probable human carcinogen. Recalls of over the counter (OTC) ranitidine products have been occurring regularly since last September. Consumers are advised to stop taking their OTC ranitidine or Zantac. Patients taking it under a doctor’s prescription are advised not to stop taking the drug until they have consulted with their physician to substitute another drug in its place. You should retain any unused medication if you believe you may have a legal claim.
Why is Zantac Being Recalled?
The latest FDA research shows that the level of NDMA in ranitidine increases as it sits in the container over time and that it increases, even more, when the drugs are stored at high temperatures. High temperatures can occur during shipping and storage. In the recall notice, the FDA said that testing and evaluation showed NDMA in ranitidine increased even under normal storage conditions. The older the product is (the longer since it was manufactured) the greater the level of probable carcinogen NDMA.
In September, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart all announced that they would no longer carry Zantac or ranitidine products sold over the counter. Novartis also announced that it would recall all OTC ranitidine products made by Sandoz.
A lab in California petitioned the FDA to remove all ranitidine products from the market. Their testing found that after being stored for only 5 days above 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) the level of NDMA had risen above the FDA limit.
What is Zantac Used For?
Zantac is a popular heartburn treatment. The drug decreases stomach acid production. It was initially available as a prescription only but began being sold over the counter in approximately the mid-1990s. Developed in the 1970s, it was one of the world’s biggest-selling prescription drugs by 1987. Twenty years later in 2017, it was still the 48th-most-often prescribed drug in America.
Are Other Heartburn Medications Contaminated with NDMA?
There are newer drugs commonly used to treat heartburn. The FDA has found no NDMA in famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec). These are available over the counter. If you were taking Zantac or ranitidine with or without a prescription, please consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice on what to use as a replacement.
Trust Our Massachusetts Zantac Lawyers to Help
If you were diagnosed with cancer while using ranitidine or Zantac, you may have a legal claim for damages. Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your ca
The Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Ethicon has been ordered to pay $343.99 million dollars for deceptively marketing vaginal mesh products in the state of California. San Diego County Superior Court judge Eddie Sturgeon ruled that the deceptive marketing was intended to deceive doctors and tens of thousands patients about the risks and dangers of the vaginal mesh products.
California’s suit charged Johnson & Johnson with violating the state’s false advertising and unfair competition laws. The California Attorney General asked for a fine of $800 million. In the lawsuit, the California Justice Department said that its years-long-investigation had shown that Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit failed to inform patients and doctors of the possible severe complications and risks of using the mesh products, and misrepresented the severity and frequency of those risks. The trial last two months; Judge Sturgeon’s 88 page verdict was issued four months later.
The court found that Johnson & Johnson had deceptively marketed two products: Tension-free Vaginal Tape, or TVT, which was first sold in 1998 to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and the Prolift, sold beginning in 2005 to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP). These meshes were implanted in women via incisions in the vagina, and after implantation the mesh often eroded, causing a host of problems including pain, infection, vaginal bleeding or discharge, urinary problems, severe pelvic or groin pain, pain during intercourse, and even organ perforation from mesh eroding into surrounding tissue.
Ethicon discontinued four mesh products for vaginal use in 2012. Ethicon did not recall vaginal mesh products that were already sold or implanted, and some of their mesh products were relabeled for abdominal implantation only. The FDA banned all vaginal mesh products in 2019.
California is the first state to go to trial alleging deceptive marketing of vaginal mesh implants by J&J’s Ethicon. Other states with pending litigation against Ethicon are Kentucky, Mississippi, Oregon, and West Virginia. Forty-two other states had already settled their claims against Ethicon for a total of $117 million dollars, and the state of Washington settled for $9.9 million.
Johnson & Johnson sold more than 470,000 pelvic mesh products nationally between 2008 and 2004. More than 30,000 were sold in California. Around the world, more than 2 million women have had these vaginal mesh implants. In the United States, more than 35,000 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson for defective vaginal mesh damages and injuries.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued this statement on the verdict: “Johnson & Johnson intentionally concealed the risks of its pelvic mesh implant devices. It robbed women and their doctors of their ability to make informed decisions about whether to permanently implant the products in patients’ bodies,” he said. “Today we achieved justice for the women and families forever scarred by Johnson & Johnson’s dishonesty.”
Ethicon and Johnson and Johnson have announced plans to appeal.
The case is California v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number 37-2016-00017229-CU-MC-CTL, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego.
If you have implanted mesh for any medical reason and are having any symptoms connected with the implant you should contact your doctor immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention if you have any symptoms you believe are related to your mesh implant.
To discuss your legal options regarding your mesh implant, call the vaginal mesh lawyers at Thornton Law Firm at 888-491-9726 to talk with Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick. You can also tell us your story online for a confidential, free evaluation of your claim. All legal claims have strict time limits for filing so call now if you believe you have a case.