Pharmaceutical

Will other power morcellator makers move to settle lawsuits?

morcellator Will other power morcellator makers move to settle lawsuits?Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, maker of about three quarters of the power morcellators on the market, has made efforts to settle almost all of the lawsuits alleging its device caused the spread of undetected uterine cancer. The company hasn’t said why it’s taken such swift measures to resolve the lawsuits, but manufacturers of other power morcellators are sure to take note.

Power morcellators are surgical tools used for laparoscopic hysterectomies and myomectomies (uterine fibroid removals). The tools are fitted with a long, tube-like blade that shreds entire uteruses or uterine growths within the body and removes them through a small incision in the abdomen. Power morcellators offer patients less scarring and shorter recovery than traditional open surgery.

In 2014, the FDA warned that 1 in 350 have undetected uterine cancer, and power morcellation could cause the spread of cancer, worsening the odds of survival. On the heels of the agency’s black box warning, Johnson & Johnson announced it was discontinuing sales of all its power morcellators. It is also the first company to move toward settling lawsuits alleging failure to warn.

Last year, the FBI launched an investigation into what Johnson & Johnson knew about the risks of power morcellators before recalling its device. Some speculate this may have influenced the company’s decision to settle the mounting lawsuits against it. The question remains, will other power morcellator makers follow suit?

Power morcellator makers and their devices include:

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon

  • Gynecare Morcellex
  • Gynecare X Tract
  • Morcellex Sigma
  • Diva by FemRx.

Lumenis Ltd,

  • VersaCut+Tissue Morcellator

Olympus

  • PKS PlasmaSORD
  • VarioCarve Morcellator

Karl Storz GmbH

  • KSE Steiner Electromechanic Morcellator

Richard Wolf GmbH

  • Morce Power Plus

Cook Urological Inc.

  • Cook Tissue Morcellator

Smith & Nephew

  • TRUCLEAR Morcellation System

LiNA Medical

  • Xcise

Blue Endo

  • MOREsolution

Source: Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry