Talcum Powder

Legal Developments
Johnson & Johnson Attempts to Eliminate Plaintiff Experts In Talcum Lawsuits

In May, Johnson & Johnson struck out a bid to transfer state talcum suits to federal court. This month, their request to transfer some 2,400 lawsuits over talc-based baby powder was officially denied. Judge Maryellen Noreika, who delivered the ruling, explained: "the judges in the states who are already handling these cases are better suited to hear the claims before them than is this Court, which would have to hear thousands of cases and apply different state laws to each."

This leaves J&J at the mercy of dozens of different state courts and judges. Despite the setback, Johnson & Johnson is currently attempting to dismiss 22 expert witness testimonies from their opposition so they can argue that the plaintiffs do not have sufficient logical and scientific backing to pursue lawsuits against them. If they are successful, as many as 12,000 could face dismissal.

In Kentucky Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive are also facing litigation after asbestos and talc that matched the chemical makeup of cosmetic talcum powder were found in the lungs of Donna Hayes, who passed away from mesothelioma.

Breast Implants

FDA Breast Implant Recall Marks Victory For Women’s Health

On Wednesday, breast implant manufacturer Allergan moved forward with a worldwide recall of their BIOCELL textured breast implant products following a request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company publicly acknowledged findings revealing the link between their implants and breast implant-associated large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Though the FDA claimed to have been monitoring this link since 2011, the agency only just acted on it after the link between Allergan's implants and BIA-ALCL was confirmed.  FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernathy M.D., Ph.D. stated, "once the evidence indicated that a specific manufacturer's product appeared to be directly linked to significant patient harm, including death, the FDA took action." The agency also issued a safety communication for patients with breast implants, patients considering breast implants and their health care professionals outlining the known risks and what steps patients should consider when monitoring for symptoms of BIA-ALCL.

Transvaginal Mesh

Legal Developments
First Transvaginal Mesh Trial Involving State Attorney General Begins

California's 33rd Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, is filing a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson pelvic mesh product, Prolift, made by their subsidiary, Ethicon. Becerra believes the product poses significant health risks for women and charges Johnson & Johnson with unfair competition, false advertising, and cases of injury. Though the pharmaceutical giant continues to claim innocence, Johnson & Johnson settled in a recent lawsuit filed by Washington State earlier this year in which $9.9 million was awarded to the plaintiff.


Public Health
Opioid Crisis Muddles On With Both Victories and Defeats

Despite the arrests of Miami-Luken executives and pharmacists for providing hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to more than 200 pharmacies in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee, news breaks that another company, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, may transfer liability onto a subsidiary company for their involvement with oxycodone and hydrocodone distribution.

The opioid crisis also wreaks havoc in New York where prosecutors and law-enforcement officials are calling for a ban on unregulated synthetic opioids, at fault for 900 overdose deaths in New York City since 2017. One of the most common culprits? Legal prescription fentanyl.


Device News
United Fronts Continue to Hunt Down The HIV Epidemic

Across the globe, steps are being taken to stop the spread of HIV. In LA county, the Center for Disease Control has paired with county health officials to diagnose and suppress the disease in “hot zones” to potentially minimize the disease’s effects in the next generation.

In the tech sector, a new HIV-prevention drug could be heading to the U.S. market soon. A matchstick-sized implant, the device would distribute regular doses of prevention drugs. Meanwhile, in China, volunteers are testing a long-term HIV vaccine using DNA segments from the HIV virus.