On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) asked surgeons to stop using its laparoscopic power morcellator amidst growing concerns about the device’s potential of unintentionally spreading deadly cancers.
As we just posted on our blog a few days ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory committee failed to reach a consensus about whether to recommend the recall of power morcellators or require manufacturers to strengthen their warnings. On April 17th, the FDA issued a warning urging doctors not to use power morcellators during laparoscopic procedures to remove uterine fibroids.
J&J suspended sales of the device in April following the FDA’s warning, and will send customers a letter Thursday asking them to return the morcellators.
J&J’s Ethicon unit, the world’s largest manufacturer of laparoscopic morcellators, decided to pull the device from the global market because of the “continued uncertainty” surrounding its use, according to spokesperson Matthew Johnson.
“Ethicon believes that a market withdrawal of Ethicon morcellation devices is the appropriate course of action at this time until further medical guidelines are established and/or new technologies are developed to mitigate the risk,” he says.
James Barter, director of gynecologic oncology research at Holy Cross Hospital says, “What [J&J’s decision] says to me is that they are rightfully so concerned with ramifications of reading cancer that they just don’t want any part of this market,” adding, “The message is that it’s just not worth it.”
There are other manufacturers of morcellators, including German companies Karl Storz GmbH and Richard Wolf GmbH, but no plans have been announced for the devices as of yet.
If you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis following a procedure using a power morcellator, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).