Thousands of women sue Johnson and Johnson over mesh implants

Johnson and Johnson is sticking by its product.

A class action against Johnson and Johnson has kicked off in Sydney today with more than 700 women claiming pharmaceutical giant’s vaginal mesh implant ruined their lives.

The women are suing for damages after suffering long-term pain as a result of the implant, which is meant to help with incontinence and prolapse caused by childbirth.

Johnson and Johnson says the mesh is supported by research, but thousands of women have come forward claiming they’ve been left with “painful and life-altering complications”, reports the ABC.

Read more: Millions of Aussies mistakenly ignoring incontinence

Shine Lawyers, the firm behind the class action, claims as many as 8,000 Australian women may have been impacted by mesh and tape implants.

In their opening submissions, barrister Tony Bannon SC said patients had suffered unbearable pain because of the implant.

He is also expected to present testimonial evidence from a number of women who say their marriages and careers were destroyed as a result of their pain.

Some women have said they were unable to have intercourse because of the pain.

The mesh implant is now the subject of a Senate inquiry with Independent Senator Derryn Hinch calling for doctors, pharmaceutical companies and the Therapeutic Goods Association to face consequences.

Read more: Senate inquiry into prolapse mesh

Johnson and Johnson is standing by the product though, saying it is supported by medical research and that thousands of women are successfully living with the implant.

In its submission to the federal Senate inquiry the company said it was “not able to detail the total number of women that have had transvaginal mesh implants, the number who have experienced adverse side effects nor the number who have made attempts to have transvaginal mesh removed (in Australia or elsewhere)”.

Have you been affect by the mesh implant?

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