FDA To Look Into Talcum Powder Cancer Claims
The FDA announced it will open a new investigation into much of the evidence presented by plaintiffs that have filed Johnson & Johnson's baby powder lawsuits.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - In response to the news that has come from talcum powder cancer lawsuits filed around the country, the FDA and the FDA's Office of Color and Cosmetics have announced a review of the relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The review will take a look at the evidence behind allegations made by plaintiffs around the country who claim that Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products are linked to ovarian cancer. The results of the study will not be published for more than a year, but its inception signals a new focus given to the topic by the federal agency.
Cosmetics are usually not given as serious of a vetting by the FDA as other food and drug groups, as typically they do not enter the body with the same risk of other products. There is likely a growing concern regarding talcum powder however as many of the baby powder lawsuits have cited studies finding that talcum powder has the ability to migrate up the fallopian tubes and become embedded in the ovaries. This is the process by which talcum powder lawyers representing plaintiffs claim that ovarian cancer is caused by talcum powder.
The FDA has already been on the look to provide funding for research on talcum powder ovarian cancer links, as the agency's Office of Women's Health announced in 2016 that it would provide grants to groups looking to investigate the association. The more than two dozen medical studies in Johnson & Johnson's
talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits filed around the country will be the base upon which the new research is conducted. Studies on the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer have been published dating back to the 1970's when the first links between the two were suggested by British researchers.
Since that time, the attention given to ovarian cancer and talcum powder has grown, especially in recent years in the U.S. Last year alone, more than $195 in damages were awarded to three plaintiffs who brought their allegations before juries in St. Louis. They claimed that not only was Johnson & Johnson manufacturing and marketing a product it knew was linked to ovarian cancer, but that it intentionally withheld the findings in order to protect the profitability of the product.
The FDA may not be as interested in the allegations related to negligence as the plaintiffs, but it will definitely look into the validity of the claims they have made against Johnson & Johnson and their talcum powder products. Baby powder is one of the company's flagship products, and its ubiquity would be worrying if it was marketed without warning of a serious side effect the product could cause. During the review, the Office of Color and Cosmetics will update its database on epidemiology related to talcum powder and look into all the current evidence supporting a link between the disease and the popular cosmetic. With talcum powder cancer attorneys currently fighting over another trial underway in St. Louis, the degree to which the FDA's review will affect the nationwide litigation by the time it comes out is yet to be seen.