There has been substantial media attention and reaction from affected patients regarding metal-on-metal hip implants over the last decade or so. Of course, one of the most famous examples is the articular surface replacement, or ASR, implant which was manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Tens of thousands of the devices were implanted in patients before injuries, immobility, and even metal poisoning led to their recall in 2010.
An international group of scientists recently condemned Metal-on-Metal hip replacement implants. A report issued by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging Newly Identified Health Risks concluded that metal-on-metal (MoM) devices should be “avoided” due to their “high failure rate.” Researchers stated that MoMs should be used only on a case-by-case basis, in light of other, more effective available alternatives.
While all of the different artificial hip implants on the market carry some form of wear risk, those that are made with metal-on-metal are some of the most dangerous out there. This is because of their unique structure, and these additional concerns can create problems and pains for patients who have had them installed.
In an attempt to settle thousands of defective medical device lawsuits over its recalled hip implants, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy has agreed to pay at least $2.47 billion. Patients have told a judge while outlining an accord, however, that the final settlement may be worth more than $4 billion total.
The global health care company recalled 93,000 defective ASR hip implants in 2010. Doctors and patients began complaining that the implants are weak and internal company documents have shown that 37 percent of the implants fail within 5 years.
In late September, spurred by the massive Stryker hip recall earlier this year, “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is launching a new system for identifying high-risk medical devices… that is says will target product problems more quickly and improve patient safety,”according to Newsday.