Sales of DePuy’s defective ASR hip devices were halted for business purposes and not because of rising concerns over the damage they may do to patients, according to parent company Johnson & Johnson’s former president.
93,000 of the malfunctioning all-metal Depuy hip implants were recalled in August 2010 following reports of high failure rates. When the products were launched, J & J predicted that revision surgeries would only be needed in 1% of cases, however this was later revised up to 12% and Joint Registries in the UK and Australia reported failure rates of around 40%. In the US alone, J & J is now facing 10,000 lawsuits as a result of the Depuy hip recall and it was at the first of these that ex J & J chief David Floyd testified that safety concerns were not behind the late 2009 decision to stop sales.
Depuy parent company,J & J, sought to streamline their product range and disappointing sales figures for ASR products combined with surging demand for the less expensive Pinnacle hip device meant that the company could make efficiency savings by postponing sales of ASR hips for at least 12 months. Ironically, As a result of the Johnson and Johnson hip recall scandal, the company is now set to lose billions of dollars in payouts in lawsuits worldwide.
DePuy Hip Devices – the problems
Recipients of Depuy ASR hip devices suffered a range of health problems caused by the metal components of the hip joint grinding together, releasing metallic fragments into the bloodstream and surrounding tissue. This caused pain, swelling, dislocation of the joint and even blood poisoning.
In 2008, plans to redesign the ASR devices were abandoned. The decision to halt sales was taken in 2009 and in August 2010, a global recall was announced.
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