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NEWARK, NJ—The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and other makers of a surgical tool found to spread cancer in women, according to the husband of one alleged victim.
Hooman Noorchashm, whose wife’s cancer was upstaged after a common hysterectomy procedure 18 months ago involving the tool, a power morcellator, says that FBI agents based out of Newark have interviewed his wife after his report in 2013 to the FBI in Boston fell on deaf ears.
Noorchasm also says agents spoke to a retired pathologist who he introduced to the FBI. That doctor, Robert Lamparter, may prove important to the investigation.
Lamparter began seeing morcellated uterine samples in late 2005, according to a timeline he provided to New Brunswick Today. In early 2006, he says he alerted a representative of J&J subsidiary Ethicon concerning a “near miss case.”
The representative referred him higher up the chain to then Medical Director of Ethicon, Dr. David Robinson.
Noorchashm, who feels the FBI’s involvement is a unique event, says the bureau’s questions “surround why these companies – J&J being the largest one – have not reported back to the FDA, as was required by the law, and why many hospitals where these women were getting their cancers upstaged, failed to report to the FDA.”
The suspected violation of federal law has led to very large losses for insurance companies, which ultimately wind up paying the costs, Noorchashm told NB Today.
He explained that certain healthcare providers and manufacturers are not reporting this average outcome back to the FDA as they are supposed to.
“That has led to an unacceptable loss of life and harm to people,” said Noorchashm, asking, “When will the Department of Justice issue subpoenas to determine how much was exactly known by these companies?”
Lamparter has shared his email exchanges with Robinson with other media outlets, but declined to share them with NBT.
“I am not releasing those since having been interviewed by an FBI agent,” Lamparter said.
However, he has shared a letter he received from Lori Pasternack, with J&J Worldwide Customer Quality. Lamparter says that the letter misinterpreted his conversations with Dr. Robinson, and and that after he sent a letter in reply, he had no other contact with anyone from Johnson & Johnson.
A recent Wall Street Journal Report says that Dr. Lamparter stated in a February 2006 email to Robinson, “that even at his small hospital, which he said had done 292 hysterectomies the previous year, gynecologists found an unexpected malignancy at least once annually,” reads the report.
“If a morcellation is done, the patient’s survival is jeopardized,” the Journal quotes Lamparter as writing.
A spokeswoman for the FBI said the agency does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation unless criminal charges are filed.