Swedish medical technology company Getinge has announced a Skr1.8bn ($200m) provision to cover the estimated costs for its subsidiary Atrium Medical’s surgical mesh product liability claims in the US and Canada.
Getinge expects the provision to impact its operating result in the third quarter of this year. Atrium Medical was acquired by the company in 2011.
The claims comprise individual lawsuits, consolidated state cases and multi-district federal litigation. The first trials are anticipated to take place late next year and early 2020.
Getinge president and CEO Mattias Perjos said: “The provision is based on the information available today and is intended to cover every sort of cost related to the claims, including defence and handling of claims.”
Nearly 900 pending lawsuits in the US and Canada are related to the surgical mesh claims, which seek damages for complications and injuries that patients allegedly sustained due to implantation with these meshes.
Getinge said that the claims are being vigorously defended and no adverse verdicts were received against Atrium Medical.
“Nearly 900 pending lawsuits in the US and Canada regard surgical mesh claims, which seek damages for complications and injuries that patients allegedly sustained due to implantation with these meshes.”
The company estimates that future cash flows will be sufficient to cover the expenses associated with the claims. However, uncertainty on loss reserve estimates may require additional provisions and actual costs could be materially higher or lower than the related provisions made.
Atrium Medical is evaluating the future of the surgical mesh business, added Getinge.
Manufacturers of surgical mesh products are facing numerous lawsuits in recent years across various markets, including the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
In July this year, the UK Government imposed an immediate ban on the use of surgical meshes, accepting the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review’s recommendation.
Later in the summer, claims were made that surgical mesh implants could be causing autoimmune diseases.
Recently, the Australian government announced that a Senate Inquiry confirmed the adverse effects of transvaginal mesh implants. The country is planning necessary measures to address this serious issue.
Surgical mesh is not the only commonly used implantable material to come under scrutiny. Here are the pros and cons of some of the most common and newest medical implant materials on the market.