The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to grant cert for a petition filed by Johnson & Johnson on behalf of its Ethicon subsidiary to review a case in California that will cost the company more than $300 million. The outcome highlights the differential hazards of advertising and promotion in various U.S. states, with California state law allowing fines of up to $2,500 for each violation of state law, an amount that can quickly tally into the hundreds of millions.
The U.S. FDA said the results of a Section 522 postmarket surveillance study of transvaginal mesh devices by Boston Scientific Corp. suggested similar effectiveness and safety outcomes at 36 months compared to native tissue repair. However, the agency said patients with mesh repair for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) are exposed to additional risks, such as mesh exposure and erosion, and thus the agency is disinclined to allow these devices back onto the market.
The FDA’s premarket review mechanisms for class II medical devices may strike some as little more than so much regulatory esoterica, and several courts have ruled that information about the 510(k) process is inadmissible during jury trials due to the possibility of sowing confusion among jurors. An appellate court in New Jersey has ruled that such an exclusion of evidence is prejudicial in a case involving surgical mesh manufactured by two device companies, however, opening a larger debate about the propriety of such exclusions in product liability litigation for medical devices.