A lawsuit claims a major breast implant maker knew its implants were likely causing cancer, and hid the complaints using fake company names

In a new letter to healthcare providers, the FDA said it wants to raise awareness of a rare cancer that's associated with breast implants.

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In a new letter to healthcare providers, the FDA said it wants to raise awareness of a rare cancer that’s associated with breast implants.
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  • On August 16, two women filed a class-action lawsuit against major breast implant manufacturer Allergan.
  • In lawsuit documents obtained by Insider, lawyers on the case said Allergan filed negative reports about their implants under fake manufacturer names like “Costa Rica” and “Santa Barbra” to hide them.
  • The lawsuit comes after Allergan’s Biocell breast implants were linked to a rare form of cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.
  • Allergan voluntarily recalled the implants in July at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.
  • The women who filed the lawsuit said they wouldn’t have gotten Biocell implants if they knew about the cancer link. Neither of the women have BIA-ALCL.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more.

On August 16, two women filed a class-action lawsuit against major breast implant manufacturer Allergan after the company recalled its Biocell textured implants. The implants had been linked to a rare form of cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.

The women involved in the lawsuit are seeking monetary damages for themselves and other women with the implants because they “will be forced to expend substantial sums for the removal of the recalled implants, surgical and diagnostic fees, and/or medical monitoring and invasive diagnostic procedures required as a result of their exposure to the risk of contracting BIA-ALCL,” according to lawsuit documents obtained by Insider.

As of September 2018, the FDA had received 457 unique reports of BIA-ALCL, including nine deaths “which may be attributable” to the cancer, according to a letter the FDA wrote to healthcare providers.

According to the lawsuit, Allergan also used fake names like “Costa Rica” and “Santa Barbra” instead of “Allergan” to hide the exact number of negative effects reports that people filed. The lawyers working on the lawsuit said these false reports violate the law and also put anyone with the Biocell textured implants at risk of misinformation.

Read more: Hundreds of Americans have developed a rare cancer that’s linked to breast implants, and the FDA is urging doctors to stay alert

“As a result, consumers, healthcare professionals, and the FDA were unable to detect trends in Allergan’s products, depriving the market of the necessary information to make an informed decision about whether Allergan’s products were safe and effective,” the lawsuit said.

Allergan has not responded to Insider’s request for comment.

If you’ve developed BIA-ALCL or have Allergan’s Biocell textured implants and would like to discuss your story, contact Julia Naftulin at jnaftulin@businessinsider.com.