DePuy, the shamed manufacturer of the ASR “metal on metal” hip implant, could face a criminal inquiry into the failures that led to over 10,000 British patients being implanted with the device which company executives knew was defective.
MPs called for a criminal inquiry into how the scandal occurred after it emerged in the press that DePuy had been aware of the dangers associated with the ASR implant for upwards of three years. Despite being warned, the company failed to take any action and as a result thousands of Britons underwent surgery to receive the devices.
The metal ball and cup joints used in the implants are said to knock together causing pieces of metal to fleck off into inside the body, causing chromium and cobalt poisoning. Many unfortunate recipients of the implants therefore suffered extreme pain and discomfort requiring revision surgeries to replace the devices.
A court case on behalf of the DePuy hip recall scandal is currently taking place in the USA is also looking into what went wrong in the interests of the thousands of people worldwide who received the malfunctioning implants. Evidence disclosed during this case revealed that DePuy’s own statistics from 2007 suggested an abnormally high failure rate for the implants which are designed to last for life. 10.1% of the implants were known to fail within two and a half years a figure far higher than other such products on the market and even DePuy’s own discontinued products.
DePuy voluntarily recalled the ASR devices in 2010 and set up a programme to help patients with the related medical costs but that has not appeased MPs. Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Labour MP Andrew Miller, said that DePuy’s failure to share such data with British regulators or to make the figures available to the public necessitated a need for the police to join the inquiry.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is thought to be considering further investigations into the hip implant recall scandal as more evidence emerges.
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