Health Care

Johnson & Johnson hit with $55m damages in talc cancer case

J&J baby powder
Pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered to pay more than $55m (£40m) in reimbursement to an American female who says its talcum powder induced her ovarian cancer.
Gloria Ristesund, 62, stated she used J&J talc-primarily based powder products on her genitals for decades.
The company – which faces approximately 1,two hundred comparable claims – insists its products are secure and says it’ll appeal.
Researchers say hyperlinks with ovarian most cancers are unproven.
In February, Johnson & Johnson paid $72m (£51m) in a comparable case.
Ms Ristesund turned into recognized with ovarian most cancers in 2011 and needed to undergo a hysterectomy and related surgical procedures. Her cancer is now in remission.
Following a 3-week trial in a Missouri nation courtroom, she changed into awarded $5m in compensatory damages and $50m in punitive damages.
Jere Beasley, whose company represents Ms Ristesund, said his client turned into gratified with the decision. The jury’s decision should “end the litigation”, he stated, and force J&J to settle the last cases.

analysis: James Gallagher, health editor, BBC information internet site
Is talc secure?
There had been issues for years that the usage of talcum powder, specifically at the genitals, may additionally growth the risk of ovarian cancer.
however the proof is not conclusive. The international employer for research on most cancers classifies talc used at the genitals as “probable carcinogenic” because of the combined proof.
Why is there any debate?
The mineral talc in its herbal shape does incorporate asbestos and does purpose cancer. but, asbestos-unfastened talc has been used in infant powder and different cosmetics because the Seventies. but the research on asbestos-free talc supply contradictory consequences.
it has been related to a cancer hazard in some research, however there are concerns that the research can be biased because the studies often rely on humans remembering how an awful lot talc they used years ago. different studies have argued there’s no hyperlink at all and there is no link among talc in contraceptives inclusive of diaphragms and condoms (which would be close to the ovaries) and most cancers.
additionally, there does no longer appear to be a “dose-reaction” for talc, not like with recognised carcinogens like tobacco where the greater you smoke, the greater the chance of lung cancer.
What should ladies do?
The charity Ovacome says there is no definitive evidence and that the worst-case scenario is that the usage of talc increases the chance of cancer by means of a third.
but it adds: “Ovarian cancer is a rare sickness, and increasing a small risk by way of a third still gives a small chance. So despite the fact that talc does increase the threat barely, only a few women who use talc will ever get ovarian most cancers.”
A J&J spokeswoman stated the verdict contradicted 30 years of studies assisting the safety of cosmetic talc.
Carol Goodrich stated the organisation intends to enchantment and could hold protecting its products’ protection.
different cases pending
The case follows any other one in February, wherein Johnson & Johnson changed into ordered to pay $72m to the circle of relatives of a lady who claimed her demise was related to apply of the organisation’s infant Powder talc.
Jackie Fox from Birmingham, Alabama died of ovarian cancer final year, elderly sixty two, having used the talc for decades.
Her own family argued that the firm knew of talc dangers and failed to warn customers.
J&J is attractive in opposition to that verdict, which sparked renewed interest in talc-powder lawsuits. attorneys accuse J&J of failing to warn that talc turned into linked to an accelerated threat for ovarian most cancers – a claim J&J denies. There are 1,2 hundred different instances pending.
J&J shares had been down 18 cents in after-hours buying and selling to $112.fifty seven.

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