In light of recent FDA warnings regarding the association between uterine morcellation and the spread of uterine cancers, it is not at all surprising that a number of insurers are restricting coverage of these procedures.
New York, New York (PRWEB) August 22, 2014
As the controversy surrounding the use of power morcellators (http://www.injurybeacon.com/power-morcellator/) in uterine surgeries continues to grow, Bernstein Liebhard LLP notes that several Massachusetts insurance companies have decided to limit coverage of uterine morcellation. According to a report from the Worcester Telegram, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts will no longer cover hysterectomies or fibroid removal surgeries that involve morcellation as of September 1, 2014. Other insurers in the state that have enacted similar limits include Harvard Pilgrim and Fallon Health.*
“In light of recent FDA warnings regarding the association between uterine morcellation and the spread of uterine cancers, it is not at all surprising that a number of insurers are restricting coverage of these procedures,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is now evaluating morcellator lawsuits on behalf of women who may have experienced the spread of undiagnosed uterine sarcoma and other cancers due to uterine morcellation.
Power Morcellators and Cancer
Power morcellators are used in laparoscopic hysterectomies and fibroid removals to cut tissue into tiny pieces so that it can be easily removed through a small incision in the abdomen. In April, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that use of the devices in these types of procedures could spread undetected uterine cancer cells throughout a woman’s body. According to the agency, roughly 1 in 350 women with fibroids has uterine sarcoma cells within that tissue. Dissemination of cancer cells outside of the uterus via a power morcellator can result in the upstaging of the disease, greatly reducing a patient’s chances of long-term survival.
Since the FDA issued its warning, calls to limit or ban the use of uterine morcellation have grown. In July, the agency convened a meeting of outside advisors to discuss the procedure’s risks and benefits. During the proceeding, the panel members heard emotional testimony from a number of cancer patients and their loved ones, many of whom urged the FDA to ban power morcellators.** This week, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, both Democrats from New York, wrote a letter to the FDA asking it to urge manufacturers of the devices to issue power morcellator recalls in light of their potential to spread cancer.***
Highmark, Inc., one of the nation’s largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers, announced last month that it would no longer cover uterine morcellation.**** Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Inc. unit also announced in July that it would withdraw three morcellators from the market because of their uncertain safety profile.*****
Alleged victims of uterine cancers that were spread via a power morcellator may be entitled to compensation for their injury-related damages. To learn more, please visit Bernstein Liebhard LLP’s website, or call the Firm directly for a free, no-obligation case review at 800-511-5092.
*telegram.com/article/20140809/NEWS/308099942/0, Worcester Telegram, August 9, 2014
**bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/07/11/agreement-reached-whether-fda-should-ban-hysterectomy-cutting-tool/EkXZaFAUUnT5HZ7DBQvWbM/story.html, Boston Globe, July 11, 2014
***democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/08/19/schumer-gillibrand-back-greece-mans-crusade/14304213/, Democrat and Chronicle, August 19, 2014
****in.reuters.com/article/2014/08/02/highmark-procedure-idINL2N0Q80IY20140802, Reuters, August 3, 2014
*****ethicon.com/sites/default/files/managed-documents/Ethicon%20Morcellation%20Devices%20Customer%20Letter%20Final.pdf, Ethicon, Inc., July 30, 2014
About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993. As a national law firm, Bernstein Liebhard LLP possesses all of the legal and financial resources required to successfully challenge billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical device companies. As a result, our attorneys and legal staff have been able to recover more than $3 billion on behalf of our clients. The Firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the Plaintiffs’ Hot List, recognizing the top plaintiffs firms in the country, for the past 12 consecutive years. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is the only firm in the country to be named to this prestigious list every year since it was first published in 2003.
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Felecia L. Stern, Esq.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP