Pharmaceutical

Bard hired PR company to combat negative coverage of failing IVC filter

IVC filter 294x210 Bard hired PR company to combat negative coverage of failing IVC filterC.R. Bard has been in the hot seat regarding its products since patients began coming forward with complaints of their retrievable IVC filters failing, breaking off inside their bodies, or migrating. Many lawsuits have been filed as a result of these complaints.

An IVC filter is a spider-like device designed to prevent pulmonary embolism. It is inserted into the vena cava, the largest vein in the body, and the device is supposed to trap potential blood clots in the legs of the cage. A recent NBC News investigation focused in on Bard’s Recovery device, which has been linked to at least 27 deaths and 300 non-fatal injuries.

However, when problems with the filters first began to surface, Bard went as far as hiring a public relations team in order to protect itself against negative media, despite the shocking failure rates of its devices. Hill & Knowlton is a public relations company that was paid to launch a “crisis communication plan” that included specific things to avoid, and specific things to say, during media interviews.

The PR company advised Bard to “stay focused on the success rate and clinical effectiveness of the products, rather than the claims,” which encouraged Bard to significantly downplay the issues.

Bard isn’t the only IVC filter maker to be facing lawsuits regarding failed retrievable devices. Cook Medical’s filters, the Gunther Tulip and the Celect filter, have been known to have high failure rates as well.

Bard is now facing multidistrict lawsuits (MDLs) in Arizona. Lawsuits regarding the company’s Recovery filter and G2 filters are still pending in District Courts all over the U.S.

Source: Fierce Medical Devices