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U.S. Congressman asks Vice President Biden to reform medical device review

The Obama Administration has created an initiative with the hopes of reducing and even eliminating cancer. Vice President Joe Biden is leading this initiative, known as the National Cancer Moonshot. One of the National Cancer Moonshot's goals is to develop an Oncology Center within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to identify and develop new cancer treatments.

While the FDA plays an important role in the fight against cancer, it has had high-profile failures as well. Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania has been instrumental in highlighting one such failure. Specifically, the FDA failed to adequately test the power morcellator. This device was used in hysterectomies and uterine fibroid removal procedures for decades. For women with undiagnosed uterine cancer, morcellation would turn "a Stage 1 treatable cancer immediately to a Stage 4 terminal cancer." As a result, hundreds or even thousands of women have died.

Safeguarding against unsafe medical devices in the fight against cancer

Congressman Fitzpatrick, in an April 15, 2016 letter to Vice President Biden, urges caution when testing and bringing new medical devices to the market. His letter reads in relevant part:

While supporting the development of new devices to target cancer, we must ensure that the FDA is able to review, monitor, and quickly take action should those devices do harm. Unfortunately, we are too late for many women who, because of morcellation, were not given a fair chance to fight and beat their cancer.

Congressman Fitzpatrick further discussed how important it is for hospitals and physicians to report adverse outcomes caused by unsafe medical devices. For years, women with upstaged uterine cancer caused by morcellation died as a result. Yet hospitals remained silent. This inaction cost many lives. Hopefully the National Cancer Moonshot balances safety with innovation.

If you have lost a loved one to upstaged uterine cancer, you have options

Currently, more than one hundred families have brought claims against Johnson & Johnson, the leading morcellator manufacturing company. Johnson & Johnson has been settling these claims in recent weeks and months. If you believe that you may be eligible for compensation for your losses, the lawyers of Fay Law Group, P.A. can help.

Source: Fitzpatrick letter to Vice President urges power morcellator review in 'Cancer Moonshot' Initiative, April 15, 2016, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick's office

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