Joint replacements are the #1 expenditure of Medicare. The process of approving these medical devices is flawed according to the Institute of Medicine. It is time for patients' voices to be heard as stakeholders and for public support for increased medical device industry accountability and heightened protections for patients. Post-market registry. Product warranty. Patient/consumer stakeholder equity. Rescind industry pre-emptions/entitlements. All clinical trials must report all data.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Implanted Surgical Mesh Survivors Fight Back at J&J Annual Shareholders Meeting

4/23/2014 2:00:19 PM

 NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – On Wednesday, 11am EST, survivors living with chronic injuries resulting from defective Johnson & Johnson (J&J) pelvic mesh implants will field questions from members of the press about their intentions to have their voices heard during J&J’s Annual Shareholders Meeting which will take place at 10am EST at the Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick (2 Albany St., NJ 08901).

WHO: Survivors & Family Members: Gay Courter, Robert Fish McClenny, Linda Wilcox, Estelle Tasz, Teresa Sawyer Advocates: Levana Layendecker (CAN), Jane Akre

WHAT: Press Conference call with survivors living with chronic injuries stemming from J&J pelvic mesh implants and their advocates.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 11 am EST

DIAL-IN INFO: 866-952-7535; *Conference ID: MESH

The survivors will file a grievance Wednesday morning with Senator Kay Hagen, Chairwoman to the Subcommittee on Children and Families, calling on the Subcommittee to investigate J&J’s recent destruction of documentary evidence related to multi-district litigation filed by over 20,000 women severely injured by the corporations pelvic mesh devices. The call for a senate investigation comes on the heels of an announcement made by the DOJ that they are reviewing a similar request and it will be paired with a call made by the survivors that J&J’s board of directors conduct an internal investigation in the interim.

During the press call the survivors, accompanied by members of The Corporate Action Network (CAN) will detail their 48-hour plan of action, which will include:

• A visually arresting light projection protest action targeting J&J (scheduled for 8pm 4/23 [Corner of Church St & Neilson St, New Brunswick NJ 08901]).

• Explosive video content released on

• A press conference outside J&J’s AGM (scheduled for 8am, 4/24 outside the Hyatt Regency [2 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901]).

• Mesh survivors plan to speak inside the J&J AGM itself (scheduled for 10am, 4/24 inside the Hyatt Regency [2 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901]).

About Gay Courter
Gay Courter, 69, of Crystal River, Florida is a bestselling writer and documentary filmmaker. She had mesh implanted during a hysterectomy, in case of aging problem, but not needed at the time. Her mesh eroded causing pain, severe infection, and urinary problems. She had a removal but continues to have ongoing issues.

About Robert Fish McClenny
Robert Fish of McClenny, Florida watched his mother in pain after implantation of the Bard mesh sling and the Johnson & Johnson Prolift. His mother Wilma Darlene Fish, 68, was referred to pain management but ended her own life in October 2011 before she could make it to the clinic to receive narcotics. He does not want her life and suffering to be in vain and promises to help fight the implantation of surgical mesh without the properly testing.

About Linda Wilcox
Linda Wilcox, 67, of Bluffton, South Carolina had a Prolift mesh kit implanted in February 2011. Prior to her implant she had a full live and was involved in real estate investment research and the arts. Today she lives in chronic pain which leaves her unable to concentrate. She stays home most of the time. Ms. Wilcox has endured two partial removals and has more surgery ahead though she’s been told the damage is permanent.

About Estelle Tasz
Estelle Tasz, 37, is the mother of four daughters. When was 29 following the birth of her youngest she was implanted with Johnson and Johnson Prolift mesh kit to treat prolapse. In the 9 years since then she’s had 12 surgeries including a major 13-hour surgery to remove the mesh which had eroded into 3 organs and migrated up into her abdominal wall. She is facing her next surgery in May 2014 to remove additional mesh and reconstruct her pelvic floor. She’s been diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease since her mesh implant which is attacking her heart.

About Teresa Sawyer
Teresa Sawyer, 45, had a Johnson & Johnson TVT mesh implanted during surgery to remove a cyst. She did not know the risks associated with the use of mesh as she was told by her doctor it was the “Gold Standard” and “completely safe.” Within 30 days the mesh started eroding in her body and she decided she wanted the plastic device removed. That has not proven to be as easy and Teresa has undergone mesh explants surgeries and suffers from bladder infections and severe pain. Because of her experience, she and her husband David began TVT-NO! a nonprofit organization that raises funds to help other women with mesh find medical solutions as well as outreach and education. When they asked one of the nurses how they learned about mesh, she said the pharmaceutical company rep.

About Levana Layendecker
Levana Layendecker has been a political activist and professional organizer for over fifteen years. She started out working as a campus organizer and canvass director for the State PIRG’s (Public Interest Research Groups) after finishing her undergrad degree and went on to become the Web Communications Director for the American Friends Service Committee while obtaining a Master’s degree in Governmental Administration from the Fel’s Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving her degree, Ms. Layendecker worked on the health care reform campaign in Washington D.C. as the Director of Online Campaigns for Health Care for America Now, a grassroots coalition mobilizing millions to win a guarantee of quality, affordable health care. She most recently served as the Senior Strategist for’s coordinated campaigns helping to support progressive candidates for Congress across the country.

About Jane Akre
Jane Akre has been a journalist for nearly 30 years working as a broadcaster, anchor, and reporter at stations all around the country as well as CNN. She has won numerous awards including the Society of Professional Journalists Award for Ethics as well as the Goldman Prize, North America 2001 for environmental reporting. Ms Akre began the website Mesh Medical Device News Desk (Mesh News Desk) in 2011 to investigate the many stories she was hearing

Read at

The Corporate Action Network is launching an unprecedented campaign to hold Johnson and Johnson and its top executives accountable for their pattern of reckless conduct that has seriously injured women across the United States who have been implanted with the corporation’s pelvic mesh products.
We need corporations like Johnson and Johnson to stop putting profits over the health and safety of women.
Read our letter to Senator Kay Hagan below and add your name to join our call to investigate!

The Honorable Kay Hagan
Subcommittee on Children and Families
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510
Dear Senator Hagan,
On behalf of women survivors in North Carolina and across the country, we respectfully request a US Senate investigation by your subcommittee into actions by Johnson and Johnson and its top executives for their pattern of reckless conduct that has seriously injured women across the United States who have been implanted with the corporation’s pelvic mesh products.
Today there are 30,000 defective product lawsuits filed against J&J in the U.S. and a growing number worldwide, more than any of the five other major manufacturers. As many as 30 percent of women implanted are unable to work and function and are referred to pain management.  What the future holds for these women as the mesh continues to degrade inside their bodies is unknown as the company chose not to study the long-term effects. One recent plaintiff called her implant a “ticking time bomb.”
Last month we delivered a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal investigation of Johnson and Johnson for destroying thousands of documents related to the development of pelvic mesh, a move that could undermine these women’s ability to receive justice.
The Department of Justice is currently reviewing our call to investigate, and we need your help.  Corporations like Johnson and Johnson must stop putting profits over the health and safety of women.
Johnson & Johnson need to be held accountable as part of a larger war on women that stretches from Congress to the corporate boardroom.  These women don’t need evasive responses and blaming survivors by Johnson and Johnson’s executives; they need help, now.
That Johnson and Johnson and its CEO Alex Gorsky continue to claim that the destruction of thousands of documents was “limited” is not only evasive – it is a slap in the face to the thousands of women injured by Johnson and Johnson who are seeking justice.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported conflicts of interest with Johnson and Johnson and a physician who sought to change the language of the treatment guidelines on pelvic mesh.   The WSJ discovered that Johnson and Johnson had paid the physician $800,000 in exchange for his influence over the regulatory process.
Johnson and Johnson’s destruction of evidence may also be violating a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Department of Justice.
Such an investigation is urgent.  There are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of women who have been implanted – and continue to be implanted – with these dangerous products.
These women need your help to hold Johnson and Johnson and its top executives accountable.  Johnson and Johnson must stop putting profits over the health and safety of women
Jane Akre


Johnson and Johnson Hurts Women

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