Since the FDA issued its April alert, evidence that power morcellators can spread undetected uterine cancers has continued to mount. We are not at all surprised that an insurer like Highmark would move to end coverage.
New York, New York (PRWEB) August 04, 2014
The controversy surrounding the cancer risks associated with power morcellators (http://www.injurybeacon.com/power-morcellator/) continues to grow, as Bernstein Liebhard LLP notes that one of the country’s largest Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers has announced it will end coverage for uterine morcellation as of September 1, 2014. According to a report from Reuters, Pennsylvania-based Highmark Inc. is the first insurance company to do so since the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) urged doctors to avoid using power morcellators in gynecological surgeries this past April.*
“Since the FDA issued its April alert, evidence that power morcellators can spread undetected uterine cancers has continued to mount. In light of these recent developments, we are not at all surprised that an insurer like Highmark would move to end coverage of uterine morcellation,” 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 shred tissue so that it can be easily removed through a small incision in the abdomen. In April, the FDA warned that use of the devices in gynecological procedures could spread undetected uterine cancer cells throughout a woman’s body, resulting in an upstaging of the disease and greatly reducing her chances of long-term survival.
Since then, evidence of the cancer risks associated with uterine morcellation has only grown. Last month, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that as many as 1 in 368 women undergoing uterine morcellation may have undiagnosed cancers present in their uterus. While women over 65 were more likely to have undetected cancer, the study found that 32 percent of the morcellation patients with undiagnosed disease were younger than 50.**
Following the publication of the study, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Inc. unit announced a morcellator recall, and asked hospitals to return three devices marketed by the company: the Gynecare Morcellex and Gynecare X-Tract tissue morcellators, and the Morcellex Sigma tissue morcellator system. In a notice posted on its website, Ethicon said it made the decision to pull its power morcellators from the market because the risks and benefits of uterine morcellation remain uncertain.***
Women who allegedly experienced the spread of uterine cancer cells due to power morcellation may be entitled to file their own morcellator lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, please visit Bernstein Liebhard LLP's website. To obtain a free legal review, please call 800-511-5092.
*in.reuters.com/article/2014/08/02/highmark-procedure-idINL2N0Q80IY20140802, Reuters, August 3, 2014
**jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1890400, JAMA, July 22, 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