Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon division has pulled out from the markets four types of mesh implants used to treat urinary incontinence, after it was taken to court by two large groups of women who claim that the devices caused infections and bleeding.
J&J informed the court that it has asked the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) permission to stop selling four of its vaginal mesh implant systems, Gynecare TVT Secur, Prosima, Prolift and Prolift+M, within the next four months.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based health care major said in a statement that it is not stopping the sales of these safe devices because of litigation, but due to commercial viability.
"Our decision to discontinue these products is based on their commercial viability in light of changing market dynamics, and is not related to safety or efficacy," it said in a statement.
The announcement comes after years of controversy over the implants, which are implanted in women to repair weakened or damaged tissue caused by muscle weakening and a condition called pelvic organ prolapse, in which the vagina becomes weak or stretches and bulges.
Vaginal prolapse usually occurs after menopause, childbirth or a hysterectomy and around 75,000 women in the US had prolapse surgery done with mesh inserted through the vagina.