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Multi-State Settlement with Medical Device Manufacturer Sends $5 Million to Georgia

Attorney General Chris Carr said last week that a multistate settlement with Boston Scientific Corporation (Boston) to resolve allegations of deceptive marketing of its surgical mesh products for women means a little more than $5 million is headed to Georgia.

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The settlement requires Boston to pay $188.6 million to 47 states and the District of Columbia to resolve allegations that it deceptively marketed transvaginal surgical mesh devices to patients. Georgia’s share of the settlement is $5,004,093.

“Manufacturers of medical devices have an obligation to inform healthcare providers and patients of the risks associated with their products,” says Attorney General Carr. “Because the company failed to do so, thousands of women experienced terrible side effects that might have been avoided. Patient welfare must always remain at the forefront.”

The complaint alleges that Boston misrepresented the safety of its surgical mesh products by failing to disclose the full range of potential serious and irreversible complications caused by its products, including chronic pain, voiding dysfunction, and new onset of incontinence.

The settlement provides comprehensive injunctive relief.  Under the terms of the settlement, Boston is required to:

Marketing Reforms:

  • For marketing materials intended for consumers, describe complications in understandable terms;
  • For certain marketing materials, disclose significant complications, including the inherent risks of mesh;
  • Refrain from representing that any inherent risks of mesh are risks common to any pelvic floor or other surgery not involving mesh;
  • Refrain from representing that inherent mesh complications can be eliminated with surgical experience or technique;
  • Refrain from representing that surgical mesh does not cause a foreign body reaction;
  • Refrain from representing that surgical mesh remains soft, supple, or pliable after mesh is implanted inside the body;
  • Refrain from representing that surgical mesh does not potentiate infection or does not increase the likelihood of infection;
  • Refrain from representing that surgical mesh repair is superior to native tissue repair unless such representations are supported by valid scientific evidence;

 Training Reforms:

  • Inform healthcare providers of significant complications when providing training regarding procedures for insertion and implantation;
  • Maintain policies requiring that its independent contractors, agents, and employees who sell, market, or promote mesh are adequately trained to report patient complaints and adverse events to the company; 

Clinical Trial Reforms:

  • When submitting a clinical study or clinical data regarding mesh for publication, disclose the company’s role as a sponsor and any author’s potential conflict of interest;
  • Refrain from citing any clinical study, clinical data, preclinical data, research, or article regarding mesh for which the company has not complied with the disclosure requirements in the injunction;
  • Include a sponsorship disclosure provision requiring consultants to contractually agree to disclose in any public presentation or submission for publication any sponsorships by Boston related to the contracted-for activity; 
  • Register all Boston-sponsored clinical studies regarding mesh with ClinicalTrials.gov.
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