New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2020

Contact:
Kate Giaquinto, Director of Communications
kate.giaquinto@doj.nh.gov | 603-573-6103

Brandon H. Garod, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Chief, Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
Brandon.Garod@doj.nh.gov | (603) 271-1217

New Hampshire Joins $60 Million Multistate Settlement with C.R. Bard

Concord, NH — Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announces a settlement by 48 states and the District of Columbia with C.R. Bard, Inc. and its parent company Becton, Dickinson and Company requiring payment of $60 million for the deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh devices.

Surgical mesh is a synthetic knitted or woven fabric that is permanently implanted in the pelvic floor through the vagina to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.  These are common conditions faced by women due to a weakening in their pelvic floor muscles caused by childbirth, age, and other factors. 

Thousands of women implanted with surgical mesh have made claims that they suffered serious complications resulting from these devices, including erosion of mesh through organs, pain during sexual intercourse, and voiding dysfunction.  Although use of surgical mesh involves the risk of these serious complications and is not proven to be more effective than traditional tissue repair, millions of women were implanted with these devices.

The attorneys general allege that C.R. Bard misrepresented or failed to adequately disclose serious and life-altering risks of surgical mesh devices, such as chronic pain, scarring and shrinking of bodily tissue, painful sexual relations, and recurring infections, among other complications. 

C.R. Bard and its parent company, Becton, Dickinson and Company, have agreed to pay $60 million to the 48 participating states and the District of Columbia. Although C.R. Bard stopped selling transvaginal mesh, the settlement provides injunctive relief, requiring both C.R. Bard and Becton, Dickinson and Company to adhere to certain injunctive terms if they reenter the transvaginal mesh market.

Under the terms of the settlement, the companies are required to:

  • Provide patients with understandable descriptions of complications in marketing materials.
  • Include a list of certain complications in all marketing materials that address complications.
  • Disclose complications related to the use of mesh in any training provided that includes risk information.
  • Disclose sponsorship in clinical studies, clinical data, or preclinical data for publication.
  • Refrain from citing to any clinical study, clinical data, or preclinical data regarding mesh, for which the company has not complied with the disclosure requirements.
  • Require consultants to agree to disclose in any public presentation or submission for publication Bard's sponsorship of the contracted for activity.
  • Register all Bard-sponsored clinical studies regarding mesh with ClinicalTrials.gov.
  • Train independent contractors, agents, and employees who sell, market, or promote mesh, regarding their obligations to report all patient complaints and adverse events to the company.
  • Ensure that its practices regarding the reporting of patient complaints are consistent with FDA requirements.

 

New Hampshire will receive $661,071 as part of this settlement.

The Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau is funded entirely through the consumer protection escrow account and the settlement funds received through lawsuits brought by the State for the protection of New Hampshire consumers. The Bureau's work includes consumer protection and antitrust enforcement, namely investigating and litigating consumer fraud and unfair or deceptive marketing practices as well as ongoing education and outreach for New Hampshire consumers. 

RSA 7:6-f, requires that "Any funds received by the attorney general on behalf of the state or its citizens as a result of any civil judgment or settlement of a claim, suit, petition, or other action under RSA 358-A or related consumer protection statutes shall be deposited in a consumer protection escrow account. The consumer protection escrow account shall at no time exceed $5 million, with any amount in excess of $5 million deposited into the general fund."

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658