Product News and Recalls

Hip joints under investigation are among many recalls

A story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that Johnson & Johnson’s hip joints, currently the basis of an investigation by federal prosecutors, were part of a string of 30 recalls by the company over the past three-and-a-half years.

Johnson & Johnson revealed the government investigation in a recent report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the regulatory filing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts and the Civil Division of the U.S. Justice Department have sent Johnson & Johnson an “informal request” for information about its ASR hip replacements. The government has asked for additional documents from DePuy Synthes, the manufacturer of the hip implant, and two related subsidiaries.

According to the story, the government is looking into the company’s marketing practices. The filing didn’t specify what exactly the government is looking for.

In more than 10,000 lawsuits filed over DePuy’s ASR hip implant, plaintiffs claim the company was aware that the device was prone to failing after only a few years and needing replacement, as well as shedding toxic metal debris in patients’ bodies. Yet for years, the company continued to market the device as being more durable than other alternatives on the market.

DePuy finally recalled the ASR implant in 2010.

The story says Johnson & Johnson has run into legal problems before over its artificial joints. Around the time of the ASR implant recall, the Food and Drug Administration told DePuy to stop marketing its Corail Hip System for two unapproved uses. And in 2007, the report says, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $84.7 million in response to a Justice Department inquiry into allegations the company paid surgeons to use its products exclusively.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a DePuy hip implant. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See the story here:

http://www.startribune.com/business/192523851.html?refer=y