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Health Highlights: May 25, 2016

Two States Sue J&J; Over Vaginal Mesh Implants Edible Pot Products Can Look Like Candy, Threatening Children

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Two States Sue J&J Over Vaginal Mesh Implants

Washington state and California have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson over its vaginal mesh implants.

The attorneys general of the two states said the company for years misrepresented the severe risks of the devices for thousands of patients, the Associated Press reported.

Johnson & Johnson neglected to inform patients and doctors about the risks and about patients who suffered serious and sometimes irreversible complications such as urinary dysfunction, constipation, severe pain and loss of sexual function, according to the attorneys general.

The lawsuits are unjustified, according to Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, Inc., which marketed the device, the AP reported.

Early this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration re-labeled vaginal mesh products as high risk instead of moderate and said they would be subjected to increased scrutiny.

Tens of thousands of patients have filed lawsuits against vaginal mesh makers, including Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific and Endo International. In 2014, Endo agreed to pay $830 million to settle more than 20,000 lawsuits, the AP reported.


Edible Pot Products Can Look Like Candy, Threatening Children

U.S. emergency rooms are dealing with a growing number of cases of children who consumed edible marijuana products that look like candy or other goodies.

"This is extremely dangerous," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, told NBC News.

"When young children get ahold of these products, they can have severe reactions, including nausea, vomiting, disorientation, anxiety-like reactions and even psychotic reactions that can make them do things they wouldn't normally do."

Recreational or medicinal marijuana use is legal in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Last year, poison control centers nationwide reported 4,000 children and teens exposed to marijuana.

"You have little kids that accidentally get into (edible marijuana products); they don't know any better," Sgt. Jim Gerhardt, Colorado Drug Investigators Association, told NBC News.

"Or a baby sitter might give a child something out of the pantry, not realizing what it is. Those accidental issues are on the rise, and it's a big problem," he added.

Not knowing what they are, children could even bring edible marijuana products to school and share them with friends, police say.

"Kids are going to be enticed by this," Gerhardt said. "They're going to want to get into this stuff. Banning it's the only way to deal with it."

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