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Oregon-Northwest

Oregon AG says $5.1 million Boston Scientific settlement to fund women’s programs

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced Thursday a $5.1 million settlement with Boston Scientific for failing to disclose the serious risks and complications of trans-vaginally placed surgical mesh.

The settlement prohibits Boston Scientific from misrepresenting surgical mesh products in Oregon, and the company must reform its marketing practices to list potential complications.

Of the settlement, $3 million will go to two Oregon non-profit organizations that support women and girls.

“Boston Scientific ignored evidence showing that surgical mesh could cause bladder problems and pain. Women who received this product were supposed to gain their freedom back, but instead many faced even more medical issues,” Rosenblum said.

“On a brighter note,” she added, “I am really pleased a large portion of this settlement will be invested in programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs and Planned Parenthood that support girls and women and offer such important services to them throughout the state.”

Transvaginal surgical mesh is a synthetic material that is surgically implanted in the vagina to support the pelvic organs of those who suffer from stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. The surgical mesh products were eventually pulled by the Food and Drug Administration FDA) in April 2019.

Specifically, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oregon will receive $2,252,581 and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon (PPSO) will receive $747,419. The Boys & Girls Club donation will be distributed to the 12 Clubs around Oregon to support the Smart Girls and Smart Moves programs, which both focus on mental health, movement and fitness for girls. PPSO will use the donation to fund health disparities in STI prevention and treatment, and better support telemedicine.

Thursday’s Boston Scientific settlement is on top of the nearly $6.5 million that Attorney General Rosenblum has recently secured from Johnson & Johnson and C.R. Bard, which also both made transvaginal mesh.

In October 2020, AG Rosenblum reached a settlement of $5.5 million with Johnson and Johnson, which included a donation of over $3 million to five non-profit medical clinics that provide health care to women in Oregon, including Outside In ($951,086), Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center ($608,640), North by Northeast Community Health Center ($190,274), Planned Parenthood Southwestern Oregon ($825,000) and Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette ($925,000).

Additionally, in September 2020, Oregon received almost $900,000 as a party to a $60 million multistate settlement with mesh maker C.R. Bard.

Senior Assistant Attorney General David Hart has led all three of these cases pertaining to surgical mesh products in Oregon. Rosenblum wishes to acknowledge Mr. Hart and his stellar team.

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