As Morcellation Lawsuits Await Litigation, The Wall Street Journal Investigation Sheds Light on Possible Conflict-Of Interest Affecting AAGL’s May 2014 Report on The Use of Power Morcellators in Gynecological Surgeries
Dr. Francois Blaudeau, who is a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist and founder of Southern Med Law and is currently representing clients in power morcellation lawsuits pending in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York (Case No. 6:14-cv-06218), is concerned by new revelations regarding an undisclosed financial relationship between a morcellator manufacturer and an official at the AAGL (formerly the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopist). According to The Wall Street Journal, the individual in question “weighed in on” the contents of a May 2014 report that ultimately backed the continued use of uterine morcellation, despite growing concerns that the procedure could promote the spread of uterine cancers. When the final document was issued by the group, a statement was included asserting that the report had been approved by the AAGL’s board with “no commercial, proprietary, or financial interest in the products or companies described in the report.” The group’s then-president would later call that misleading, the Journal wrote.
[imarketreports.com/how-suspect-device-got-surgeon-groups-blessing.html, The Wall Street Journal (via imarketreports.com) February 17, 2015]
According to Southern Med Law, the release of the AAGL’s report came at a crucial time. Just one month earlier, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) expressly discouraged surgeons from using power morcellators to remove uterine fibroids or perform hysterectomies because of their potential to spread undetected cancer cells beyond the uterus. Just months later, the FDA would issue an even stronger alert, warning against the use of the devices in the vast majority of women who require such procedures, including women who are in menopause, about to enter menopause, or those who are good candidates for minimally invasive procedures that don’t require their use.
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm393576.htm, April 17, 2014]
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm424443.htm, November 24, 2014]
The Journal article highlights how doctors and healthcare facilities rely on groups like the AAGL to provide advice and recommendations on important medical topics. Among other things, it is noted that the organization’s May 2014 report helped to persuade at least one Florida hospital to continue using uterine morcellation.
As both an attorney and practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist with a specialization in advanced gynecological surgery, Southern Med Law’s Dr. François Blaudeau possesses a unique understanding of the current controversy surrounding uterine morcellation. Among other things, Dr. Blaudeau is currently representing plaintiffs in what was “the first major federal product liability lawsuit involving a uterine morcellator manufacturer.” The case was filed weeks before the FDA issued its first recommendations regarding the use of power morcellators in gynecological surgeries. (Case No. 5:14-cv-1557, E.D. Pa., Allentown)
(philly.com/2014-03-19/news/48334892_1_uterine-cancer-hysterectomy-leiomyosarcoma, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 2014)
If your life has been devastated because of uterine cancer that was allegedly disseminated and upstaged via a power morcellator, please contact Southern Med Law today to learn more about your legal rights. You can arrange for a free, no obligation power morcellator lawsuit review by visiting www.southernmedlaw.com, or by calling the office directly at 205-547-5525.
About Southern Med Law
Southern Med Law is a patient and consumer advocacy organization providing legal representation to the victims of negligent personal injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices and defective products. Led by Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist, the legal staff at Southern Med Law possesses a deep understanding of the complex medical and legal questions at issue in all manner of product liability and personal injury claims. They’re not afraid to take on the nation’s largest corporations in their pursuit of justice, and are committed to ensuring that all victims have access to the type of aggressive legal advocacy that assures success.
Southern Med Law
Southern Institute for Medical and Legal Affairs
2224 1st Ave., North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 547-5525
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