publication date: Sep. 11, 2015
GAO to Investigate Power Morcellation Harms
The U.S. Government Accountability Office said it would investigate the controversy stemming from wide use of power morcellators, gynecological devices now known to spread undetected cancers during hysterectomies and myomectomies.
The GAO’s Sept. 4 move comes after 12 members of Congress wrote a letter requesting an investigation.
“Hundreds, if not thousands, of women in America are dead because of a medical device known as a laparoscopic power morcellator,” the legislators said in the letter Aug. 7. “This device can take a Stage 1 treatable cancer immediately to a Stage 4 terminal cancer. For too many women, this routine procedure ended with a death sentence.”
The letter was signed by Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.), Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.).
FDA severely limited the use of power morcellators in November 2014, a year after patient advocates Amy Reed and Hooman Noorchashm launched a vigorous campaign that drew FDA’s attention to the issue (The Cancer Letter, Nov. 26, 2014).
The GAO investigation comes on the heels of an FBI probe in May. The FBI is reportedly trying to establish whether Johnson & Johnson—one of the largest manufacturers of power morcellators—knew as early as nine years ago that the gynecological device can disseminate uterine cancers (The Cancer Letter, May … Continue reading 41-33 GAO to Investigate Power Morcellation Harms
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