Product News and Recalls

Editorial: J&J’s hid info about hip implant problems

An editorial in the Newark Star Ledger titled “Another black eye for J&J” says that Johnson & Johnson’s actions with regards to its ASR hip replacement were not only unethical, but would have landed an individual in prison.

Johnson & Johnson recalled the implants, made by subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, in 2010 after studies showed that nearly half of them broke down and needed replacement after only five years. That model also left toxic metal residue in patients’ bodies.

The company is already facing $3 billion in sanctions because it continued to sell those hip implants overseas even after the recall. But according to the editorial, recent court documents show Johnson & Johnson was aware of that high failure rate and attempted to conceal it, even as it publicly disputed a clinical study that reached the same conclusion.

“Had an individual done that, he’d be in prison,” the editorial says. “For mega-corporations, billion-dollar penalties are just a cost of doing business.”

Johnson & Johnson’s profits were $10.5 billion in 2012. And in 2010, the year of the recall, it earned a record $13 billion in 2010 — though it ended up paying $750 million in safety and bribery scandals.

The editorial points out that Johnson & Johnson and other major pharmaceutical companies have paid multimillion or multibillion-dollar fines recently for legal violations.

“More and more, we’re watching the erosion of corporate citizenship — the boardroom’s willingness to victimize consumers in search of ever-larger mounds of cash,” the editorial says.

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 editorial here: