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Many women implanted with recalled Allergan Natrelle Biocell breast implants may be unaware that the devices may increase the risk of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), leading the manufacturer to announce a new awareness campaign that is designed to better track the devices that are still in women’s bodies.
In a press release issued June 1 by it’s parent company, AbbVie, Allergan Aesthetics announced the launch of a “dedicated multi-channel campaign” with the goal of directly contacting patients with Natrelle Biocell textured breast implantsl, who may be unaware they have been recalled.
According to Allergan, it sold approximately 52,000 Biocell breast implant units before announcing a breast implant recall in July 2019. The recall came after federal regulators in the U.S. determined nearly all reported cases of BIA-ALCL were linked to the Biocell textured surface design.
The problems involve a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma that may develop in the tissue surrounding the implant. As a result of the risk, dozens of women nationwide have filed claims against the manufacturer, alleging they may have avoided a cancer diagnosis if the manufacturer had not intentionally covered up the problems and misled patients and the medical community.
According to this latest press release, Allergan’s information campaign will include digital and social media advertisements which will lead those with the implants to visit www.BIOCELLinformation.com, which the company says will help consumers identify which implants they have and register them. In return, this will help Allergan track the devices.
The FDA updated its Biocell recall website to include an announcement of the campaign. The agency recommends those who are not aware of the recall or do not know the type of implant they have either visit Allergan’s Biocell information website or contact their surgeon or hospital where they received the implants to see if there are records of which type of device they received.
The agency indicated it will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of breast implants and will inform the public whenever new information becomes available.
In the federal court system, at least 75 complaints over the breast implant cancer problems have been consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the District of New Jersey, where U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti is presiding over all pretrial proceedings to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues in the claims, avoid conflicting schedules and orders, and serve the convenience of common witnesses, parties and the judicial system.
As more women undergo procedures to have breast implants removed due to the cancer problems, or receive a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL, the number of lawsuits over recalled Allergan breast implants is expected to continue to increase in the coming weeks and months.