Product News and Recalls

J&J suppressed warnings about hip implant

A story in U.K. newspaper The Telegraph says Johnson & Johnson employees were not only aware of problems with its ASR hip implant for years before the device’s 2010 recall, but actively discussed manipulating data to conceal those problems.

Studies show that nearly half of the implants, made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, break down and need replacement after only a few years. They also have a tendency to shed toxic metal debris in patients’ bodies.

More than 10,000 people have filed lawsuits over the devices, and the first of those cases has gone to trial in Los Angeles.

The ASR implant was launched in Britain in 2003, The Telegraph reports. According to internal documents, figures available to the company in June 2007 showed that the implants had scored a “survival rate” of 89.9 per cent after two and a half years – which represents a relatively high failure rate compared to other models.

In March 2008, members of the company’s marketing team discussed ways of using a different set of data to market the product. The other set of data claimed a 99 per cent success rate.

The report cites an email by a Johnson & Johnson marketing manager describing the new data as a “game changer” and stating: “We were told these data cannot be used publicly. Can someone confirm.”

As early as 2006, the documents state, an orthopedic surgeon at Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast was reporting problems to DePuy.

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: