FDA Panel Members Paid Thousands by Power Morcellator Manufacturers, WSJ Reports
Two doctors who served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s power morcellator advisory panel last summer were revealed to have had significant financial ties to Johnson & Johnson, according to the Wall Street Journal.
According to an article from July 10th, the surgeon was paid nearly $12,000 by a subsidiary of the healthcare giant in 2013, which also paid him $9,500 in 2010 and 2012 for consulting, food and education training. And they weren’t the only ones. Between 2009 and 2013, the doctor received $148,400 from the Karl Storz Group, a company that manufactures power morcellators that are widely used in minimally-invasive fibroid removal surgeries throughout the U.S. At the FDA panel meeting in July, the doctor dismissed concerns that use of the devices could promote the spread of uterine sarcoma and other cancers in women. Women having the surgery were unlikely to have a 1 in 350 chance of having malignant tumors spread via uterine morcellation, he said; the risk was closer to 1 in 7,450.
Should the FDA Orchestrate Another Power Morcellator Panel?
According to a recent report from ADVFN.com, the FDA declined to share information about his corporate ties, or why he was selected to serve on the July 2014 panel. Another doctor, panel member Andrew Brill, was also paid handsomely by Johnson & Johnson a year before he served on the power morcellator panel. The company paid him $100,000 in consulting fees during 2013; the same year another one of its units paid him $6,000. However, that doctor did recuse himself from the morcellator hearing, after those payments were revealed in an earlier Wall Street Journal report.
Given this information, one may find it beneficial for the FDA to congregate another advisory panel to discuss the issue, especially since Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit has since taken its power morcellators off the market. After issuing a sales suspension in April, the company announced a “complete market withdrawal” of the surgical tool at the end of July.
That same month, the federal regulator told the public that they were investigating the dangers of uterine morcellation, and urged doctors to consider alternative methods of removing fibroids in women while they continued to investigate their safety.
Consider a Power Morcellator Lawsuit
Call our Firm today for more about power morcellator lawsuits, if you were diagnosed with uterine sarcoma or another cancer after being treated with the device. You may be eligible to receive compensation for damages allegedly caused by your injuries: (877) 779-1414.