In late August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, announced they were recalling two kinds of hip implants. The Food and Drug Administration had received consumer complaints about the hip implants for the last two years. Since 2008, there have been nearly 400 complaints of device failure.
The two recalled DePuy hip implants are the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket replacement and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which is a partial hip replacement and puts a metal cap on the ball of the femur. The Acetabular System has been sold all over the world and the resurfacing system has been in use in countries outside of the US.
The ASR hip implants are part of a larger group of medical devices known as metal-on-metal bearings. These devices have known problems generating debris from wear. Some patients develop tissue damage and inflammation as a result.
Last March, the British agency that regulates medical devices issued an advisory about the ASR problems. DePuy began warning doctors about high failure rates in the hip implant the same month the British advisory came out. Prior to this, DePuy claimed they were phasing out the hip implant device due to slow sales.
Failure rates as high as 12 and 13 percent within five years of the patient receiving the medical device were measured. Some doctors and orthopedic experts have expressed dismay that the hip implants were not recalled sooner. One doctor has said that almost every major medical center has seen problems with this particular hip implant device.
Companies that provide medical devices have an obligation to make sure they remain safe for the patients who need them. While DePuy has voluntarily withdrawn these two hip implant devices, the fact that people have complained about their failure for years means that much pain and suffering, as well as cost, could have been avoided. The FDA is looking to see if there are systemic issues at Johnson & Johnson in an effort to avoid further defective product recalls, but this doesn’t help those already injured.
DePuy has offered to pay for reasonable and customary costs associated with this recall, as well as new hip implant operations if they are needed. Another thing affected patients should do is contact an experienced defective product attorney to get them the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one has received one of the defective DePuy hip implants, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial case evaluation. We serve clients nationwide.
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