Allergan Inc. recently found itself in hot water over two lawsuits accusing it of failing to warn patients of potential cancer risks linked to certain breast implants.
Allergan Inc. was recently hit with two lawsuits last month over its Biocell textured breast implants. It is important to note that in addition to the lawsuits, the company, which specializes in making and selling breast implants, issued a worldwide recall of the implants. The suits were filed over allegations that the company failed to warn patients of potential cancer risks linked to the implants.
The suits were filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court by Hilary Corts and Cari Dietzel. Among the allegations include claims that Allergan spent the last few decades “neglecting to properly advise consumers of the risks with the implants and concealed or misrepresented the dangers.” The suit states, “Allergan entities, including Allergan Inc. and Allergan USA Inc., have for decades made, promoted and offered for implantation the Biocell line of textured breast implants.” Additionally, the suits claim Allergan has “sold hundreds of thousands of the implants into the worldwide marketplace, with the product being implanted into women on both a reconstructive and cosmetic basis.”
Furthermore, the suits allege the implants in questions hold a “heightened and undisclosed risk of developing a type of cancer known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma or BIA-ALCL, a rare subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” However, despite this knowledge Allergan has either “dismissed, diminished, or downplayed the issue to women around the world,” the suit claims.
As a result of complaints like the ones from Corts and Dietzel, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the company to recall its Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders marketed in the U.S. In response, Allegan informed the FDA that it will not only be removing the products from the U.S. market but from the global market as well.
The FDA decided to seek the recall after looking at an “analysis of 573 unique BIA-ALCL cases worldwide that included 33 patient deaths.” It’s also worth noting that, of the 573 cases, 481 of those involved “Allergan breast implants at the time of diagnosis.”
Dietzel decided to file her lawsuit against the company to help sound the alarm. Back in 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and even had to undergo a “bilateral mastectomy to remove the cancerous tissue from her breasts.” According to her suit, she received “Biocell implants, believing they were safe.” Corts, on the other hand, learned she was at a high risk of developing breast cancer due to the disease running in her family. As a result, she “underwent a preventative bilateral mastectomy, but learned she had already developed breast cancer,” according to her suit. Unfortunately for Corts, her problems were just getting started. During the post-surgery period, she experienced issues with her Allergan tissue expanders, including an infection that took time for her to recover from. Then, in 2017, she received Biocell implants, but later learned they were “not safe and effective in preventing her from developing further issues with cancer or infection.”