Greg Abbott Not Totally Afraid of Lady Parts, Takes on Big Pharma Over Vaginal Mesh

Categories: Healthcare

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Future Texas Governor Greg Abbott hates nothing more than he hates abortions, Planned Parenthood and other women's-health-related things, leading the Texas Democratic Party to describe him as "public enemy number one for women in Texas." But now, in a major national fight pitting women's health advocates against a corporate giant, Abbott appears to have jumped in bed with women and their bodies.

For the past two years, the Texas Attorney General's office has been quietly leading an investigation into Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon subsidiary, after thousands of women nationwide alleged in lawsuits and complaints to the FDA that the company's pelvic mesh products are defective.

As I reported in a recent feature story on mesh, Ethicon and other companies thought they'd discovered a new, easy way to cure poor bladder control and similar health ills common in aging women and women who have had babies. The fix, rushed to the market in the late 90s, is a surgical device made out of plastic surgical mesh, inserted through the vagina. Patients have complained en masse that the "fix" destroyed their sex lives, worsened their incontinence and caused horrendous pain. More than 17,000 lawsuits have been filed against Ethicon alone.

The FDA was slow to respond, but in 2011 regulators finally issued a warning that complications from some of the mesh surgeries are "not rare." The FDA has yet to issue a formal recall.

Abbott, meanwhile, is investigating Johnson & Johnson under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act. In a demand letter sent in April, the Attorney General asked Johnson & Johnson for physical samples of the mesh, detailed data on the material it's composed of, a list of all websites sponsored by Johnson & Johnson discussing the mesh and other data. That's only the latest request for information, following up on a separate demand the Attorney General sent in March 2013. The whole investigation began two years ago, the AG's office tells Unfair Park.

The investigation became public after a group of Texas women wrote a letter to Abbott asking him to crack down on the company, only to find out that he's already looking into it, as WFAA reported.

Women's health aside, Texas and other states have its own reasons to investigate this. "You, as a tax-payer, you're paying for the Medicare patients who have had this thing in," Dr. Daniel Elliott, a surgeon at the Mayo Clinic who treats women suffering mesh complications, told us a few months ago. "Then the patient has all these complications, and you as the taxpayer are paying for their original surgery and you're paying for all these treatments afterwards. It's a huge financial burden on the system."

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56 comments
The_Mesh_Warrior
The_Mesh_Warrior

Thank you Amy for continuing to follow this very, very important issue.  MEN- don't stop listening at transvaginal.  They use this plastic for hernia repair also.  If you are facing a repair for advanced SUI/POP or a hernia repair, please, please research through the consumer means as you are looking at the manufacturers' marketing brochures, etc.  Get the full story.  Here is a great resource for daily updates www.meshnewsdesk.com .  Please stay informed and tell your family members too. This device is still on the market and being used by doctors in Dallas DAILY.

Blessed66
Blessed66

These attorney have all made a mistake. We are suffering and one judge is taking his sweet time hoping we all just died off. I have never understood why Men Hate Women So Much !!! Nor have I seen Men give birth to another human. What is the hold up? What is you a problems ? You all are so into Money until you just don't Care about women. The Corporates, The Judges, The Attorneys , The Investors , The FDA, The President of the United States , The Republican , The Democrats , The Doctors that butchered us.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

I see that it isn't accurate for Abbott to say "I go into the office, I sue to protect women, and I go home."

OK, OK, I do wonder why it would take 2 years for him to act if there is a problem, but regardless I will give Abbott credit for doing the right thing. Way to go Greg!

The medical device industry is way to integrated in the medical services industry. today I read about a member of the commission investigating a device used in women whose use is suspected to dramatically increase the probability of cancer having to resign because he was paid over $100K to "advise" them. the problem? if it had been only $75K he wouldn't need to leave the commission.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

I see down the thread, even doing something good, Abbot is all bad.  Well for some people, that is just the way it is.  Enjoy the weekend folks!

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Back in simpler days, the only transvaginal mesh that adversely affected us was pantyhose.

How things change.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

It's a publicity stunt - and it's late.  Republicans never took a stand against rushing these dangerous products to market.  They're only taking action now because private law firms that have taken up the cause have made a lot of money suing the manufacturers - and he wants in on the windfall.

What he's really trying to do is distract from CURRENT events - specifically his support for private corporations to illegally withhold information about how and where they're storing dangerous chemicals.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Annie's List Grace Garcia on Abbott's embracing the support of Ted Nugent:


"Ted Nugent's comments against women are despicable. It's reprehensible that Greg Abbott is now publicly accepting support from this person.  Greg Abbott should denounce Ted Nugent, who so freely attacks women, and cancel the events they have scheduled together. Otherwise, his claims to fight for women will continue to ring hollow. Nugent has used terms to describe female political leaders such as 'brain-dead soulless idiot,' 'varmints,' 'fat pigs,' 'dirty whores,' 'worthless bitch' and more that I do not care to repeat. It's hate speech, plain and simple. Greg Abbott has claimed he fights for women, but he can't have it both ways. It's a lie to make that claim and then turn around and accept the support of someone so outspokenly anti-woman like Ted Nugent."

dingo
dingo

'Texas Democratic Party to describe him as "public enemy number one for women in Texas."'

And the Texas OAG under Abbott leads the country in child support revenues collected for the past 7 years.


Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause - Victor Hugo

pak152
pak152

"Abbott appears to have jumped in bed with women and their bodies.

For the past two years, the Texas Attorney General's office has been quietly leading an investigation"

a non-sequitur. jump implies he is doing it just now but as the AG he's been leading an investigation for 2 years. not exactly jumping. it's called gathering evidence

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Ethicon - no shit? *gag* Where's Merkie with the rating for this blog?

Anyhoo. Someone with less taste than myself might make a joke about "Crack down on vagina mesh."


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

"I go into the office, I sue Barack Obama and I go home." ---Greg Abbott, describing his job as Attorney General.


Now, in an election year with a female opponent, and after 17,000 lawsuits filed against Ethicon, Abbott decides to swoop in and sue.  Obvious is obvious, as they say.

The_Mesh_Warrior
The_Mesh_Warrior

@RTGolden1 Please considering Abbot as he supports this cause. Women are women, regardless of politics.  And they are being TORTURED by this device.

The_Mesh_Warrior
The_Mesh_Warrior

@bvckvs -- As someone deeply involved in getting the mesh off the market and with a full understanding of the issues, I respectfully disagree with the bulk of your comment. You just aren't right, but you could become so if you look into the issue closely and study it for years - that's how deep this well is.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@bvckvs Clinton was president and the executive in charge of the FDA in the 90s when the majority of these were approved

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@bvckvs 

guess you didn't notice but there were no democrats who "took a stand" either.

ahh, selective memory...

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

@bvckvs i NEVER EVER EVER NOVENVINE NEVERINO AGREE WITH FUCKYS BUT this is dead on...broken clock yep

The_Mesh_Warrior
The_Mesh_Warrior

@dingo - Public Enemy #1 in this issue people is the MESH ITSELF and those who manufacture it with full knowledge that it is not safe.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Try reading the facts before swooping in to criticize.

"... confirmed the agency's consumer protection division has been quietly leading a nationwide investigation of mesh products for nearly two years.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Ba da bing. A panderer of the first degree.

I wish someone in the media would ask him why the state isn't issuing alerts on dangerous trees.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@The_Mesh_Warrior @bvckvs 

If you have a point to make, make it.  But whining that others don't spend their time obsessing over your cause is just pathetic.

The fact is that while some people have had bad experiences with this product - many others have benefitted. Unfortunately, your victim mentality won't let you consider the benefits.

The_Mesh_Warrior
The_Mesh_Warrior

@mavdog @bvckvs - It's NOT a partisan issue.  It's a human issue.  The politicians didn't create the problem; they didn't invent the product.  The manufacturers did.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@mavdog @bvckvs 

That would be relevant - if Abbott was running as a Democrat.


lighthouse1210
lighthouse1210

@bvckvs @WhiteWhale wrong, obama placed people in all fields, FDA, judge goodwin, in federal court, appointed by obama. and more in state so the chemical companies would not pay because some women are being railroaded by attorneys, if you want to know the truth, their stories used but never to see justice much less be allowed to tell the truth in courts where the chemical companies pay off state judges and attorneys and more, in campaign funding as I have found so many get thousands of dollars , obama being paid the most,

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@bvckvs @WhiteWhale The President is the chief executive.  The FDA is led by a commissioner appointed by the President.  The commissioner serves at the pleasure of the President.

The_Mesh_Warrior
The_Mesh_Warrior

@bvckvs @paulpsycho78 -- These women are VICTIMS.  I know several of them personally. Do you know what informed consent is?  I'd like you to know because someday you will need to protect yourself by knowing its specific definition related to every medical procedure you have. A tad daunting, really.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@dingo

Myrna's not having a good morning.

theslowpath
theslowpath

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @pak152 He thought you were referring to the point in history where the official position of the U.S. Government was that anyone with a lot of melanin was only 60% (three fifths) human. 

The idea has since been firmly rebuked by science, good sense, and not being a racist fucktard. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @pak152 @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 

I was seriously considering 3/5, but it just wasn't there.  There was no reference to Perry and Abbott is being shown as a good guy.

What killed the 3/5 is that from Abbott's point of view, this is about recovering Medicare/Medicaid funds, not necessarily women's health.  Also the suit is done under the position of the TDTPA.

So, a strong 2/5.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

You need coffee, spectacles maybe:

"The investigation became public after a group of Texas women wrote a letter to Abbott asking him to crack down on the company, only to find out that he's already looking into it, as WFAA reported."

dingo
dingo

@TheRuddSki 

She might be having a good morning for all I know. I am not so sure that her primary goal here is to win any debates.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@theslowpath The U.S Government never had a position that anyone was only 3/5 human.  Slave States wanted to count slaves in determining representation of the states in the Congress and naturally Non Slave States did not.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@TheRuddSki During those two years thousands of lawsuits were filed, yet his "investigation" revealed nothing until exposed by the Corporate Action Network.

The_Mesh_Warrior
The_Mesh_Warrior

@bvckvs @WhiteWhale -- Both of you need more education on this issue.  Congress runs the FDA by UNDERFUNDING IT.  It oversees EVERY food, drug, drink and device that touches the human body and it has the same budget (theoretically if there were a budget) as is allocated to urgent care centers on federally-protected Native American reservations.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@bvckvs @WhiteWhale ...and you are totally deluded.  Bottom line Clinton and the Democrats were in charge when the majority of this went down.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@dingo  Myrna simply wishes to express a view, but the comment board bullies are determined to cut off any discussion with insults and maledicent harangue.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

"Look, a squirrel!"

First rule of holes, hon.

DinahCancah
DinahCancah

@WhiteWhale WW you are by far the biggest dumbass on to ever commented on this blog.  I assume you have been told this numerous times.    You come off as a nebbish little weakling who probably hates yourself and rightly so.  I doubt you know who Clinton is or what role the President plays.  Now go back to tweedling ur twat and keep ur finger out of ur mouth.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Your misconceptions, inaccuracies and misrepresentations were corrected, that's all. You should thank people who take the time to help you out.

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