After two multimillion dollar verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder ovarian cancer trials in 2016, a recent study published by the American Association for Cancer Research found that African American women have a higher rate of ovarian cancer from talcum powder use.
Internal documents from J&J obtained by plaintiffs’ lawyers reveal that J&J targeted African American women in marketing campaigns for its talcum powder products in 1992. Nearly fourteen years later, a study found that African American women had a 44% increased rate of epithelial ovarian cancer after talcum powder use.
The study looked at 584 cases and 745 controls in an ongoing, population-based case-control study on epithelial ovarian cancer. This is the first study to look at talcum powder usage and ovarian cancer in a specific ethnicity. Previous studies indicated that women who use talcum powder products have a 24% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
The study will have profound implications for the thousands of talcum powder lawsuits against J&J. Currently, two more trial are set for the fall of 2016. J&J has stated that it will continue to defend the safety of its talcum powder products in upcoming trials.