The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Dublin-based Endo International is closing down its Astora Women’s Health division by the end of March. The division is headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn. The company first tried to sell the Astora division, but, being unable to find a buyer, the decision was reached to shut down operations in part to “reduce the potential for product liability related to future mesh implants.”
Endo, as well as the other manufacturers of transvaginal mesh (TVM) implants used to surgically treat such disorders as pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence, have been embroiled in massive multidistrict litigations with thousands of plaintiffs alleging to have suffered serious permanent injuries from the products. In the past year juries are finding manufacturers such as Johnson and Johnson guilty of negligence in design and failure to warn patient’s doctors of the risks of their device, and awarding both compensatory and punitive damages to plaintiffs. In February, a jury levied a $13.5 million verdict against J&J’s Ethicon division in TVM litigation.
According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, “In August, Endo said it had set aside $1.53 billion for potential litigation and settlement costs, and the company said Monday it took an additional $834 million pre-tax charge during the fourth quarter related to vaginal mesh cases.”
The company shutting down its women’s health division, although in response to the transvaginal mesh fiasco, is also part of a larger strategy of transitioning to alternative products for global sales, which included selling its men’s and prostate health division to Boston Scientific and buying rival generic drug manufacturer Par Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc. last year. Endo’s U.S. headquarters are in Malvern, Penn.