Johnson and Johnson in big trouble for hiding hip transplant side effects
New Delhi : One of the most trusted brands Johnson and Johnson turned out to be a money making machine which did not care about the patients using its products during hip transplant surgery. The Indian arm of the company, reportedly, hid key facts on the disastrous aftermath of surgeries conducted on hundreds of people in the country.
In a "clear abdication of responsibility", Johnson and Johnson did not inform the national regulator about the exact number of patients who used these devices, the adverse reports following such surgeries and the corrective operations subsequently conducted. It also “did not provide any compensation” to those affected.
According to a report prepared by an expert committee set up by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to investigate complaints on the hip implant devices, information of over 3600 patients with wrong hip implant devices is missing.
The committee, chaired by Dr Arun Agarwal, ex-Dean and Professor of ENT, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, has recommended that J&J be made liable to pay at least Rs 20 lakh to each affected patient, and that the reimbursement programme for revision surgeries should continue until August 2025.
The committee concluded: “…the ASR hip implants were found to be faulty, which resulted in higher revision surgeries”; the “…accelerated wear of metal on metal implant leads to higher levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood which lead to toxicity… these metal ions damage tissues and further damage body organs” and “may also cause localised and systematic health problems”.