The debacle in the U.S. over the thousands of lawsuits filed from women against companies that exposed them to physical maladies after having transvaginal mesh surgery is coming to an expensive head for Endo Health Solutions.
The company has reported that it will pay about $830 million to settle around 20,000 lawsuits from women who claim that — after they were implanted with vaginal meshes — the mesh implants eroded and left the women incontinent, made it difficult for them to have sex, and introduced a variety of other ailments.
Vaginal meshes are used to treat various conditions caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Aging, childbirth, or other issues may cause pelvic organ prolapse, which is comprised of organs moving into the vaginal tract because of the weakened pelvic muscles. Stress urinary incontinence is another condition treated by the meshes that are designed to prevent the bladder and other organs from sagging. Transvaginal meshes are implanted through the vagina in order to avoid making large incisions, but since their popularity in the 1990’s, thousands of women have come forth to reveal that the procedures have possibly done more damage than good.
Endo’s settlements cover problems resulting from Perigee, Apogee, and Elevate implants, and coincidentally have come to the forefront of news a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that vaginal meshes should be subject to stricter safety requirements as they are more high-risk than initially thought.
The Legal Examiner reports that Endo is not the first company to be slammed with vaginal mesh-related lawsuits — although it has already agreed to pay more than $54 million to resolve a group of other vaginal-mesh lawsuits. Over 30 companies have been ordered to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to transvaginal mesh procedures. It reports that, per case, each plaintiff receives an average of $40,000 in damages.