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Thousands of women sue Johnson and Johnson over mesh implants

04 Juillet 2017

The Australian class action comes after more than 100,000 women started legal action in the US.

A class action against Johnson and Johnson has kicked off in Sydney today with more than 700 women claiming pharmaceutical giant's vaginal mesh implant ruined their lives.

Half the women are alleging serious injury after pelvic surgery for incontinence using five varieties of Johnson & Johnson's TVT implants and the other half are seeking damages after they were implanted with the company's Total Prolift and Total Gynemesh devices following prolapse after childbirth.

Johnson and Johnson says the mesh is supported by research, but thousands of women have come forward claiming they've been left with "painful and life-altering complications", reports the ABC.

"But at the end of the day we're not going to get our lives back", Mrs Thompson said.

Hearings are expected to run for about six months.

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Speaking about Johnson & Johnson's involvement in the case, barrister Tony Bannon SC said that the company did not properly communicate the risks of the vaginal mesh to either patients or surgeons and instead marketed the benefits of the products to surgeons.

"Many women are no longer able to have any sort of sexual relationship, or if they are able to have a sexual relationship, there is a lot of pain associated with that", Saddler said. "Women have been also unable to really enjoy proper fulfilling relationships not only with their partners, but with their children, with their friends". Women have found it very hard to work in the way they used to work. "So it's had really debilitating impacts".

Johnson & Johnson said it was only aware of 200 "product events" after selling more than 100,000 pelvic floor fix products in Australia. None of the devices have been subject to a recall by Australian regulators.

Have you been affect by the mesh implant?

But the agency has not recalled the devices. "We have always complied fully with local regulatory requirements when providing the products in Australia, and have acted ethically and responsibly in the research, development and supply of the products".

"For so many years, we've been told that there's nothing wrong with us, that symptoms are either in our head or it's not because of the mesh".

"Our case is that the TVT implants cause complications that are not experienced with alternative treatments for stress incontinence", Ms Jancauskas said.

Thousands of women sue Johnson and Johnson over mesh implants