The Central government has set up a five-member expert committee to determine the quantum of compensation for victims of faulty hip implants manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.
The committee, headed by R K Arya, director, Sports Injury Centre at Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi will have to submit its report within 45 days, officials said.
Other members of the panel are C S Yadav, Department of Orthopaedics, AIIMS; Vineet Sharma, head of Orthopaedics Department, King George Medical University, Lucknow; Bikas Medhi, professor of Pharmacology at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and Bushan Tilak Kaul, professor of law, Delhi University.
To determine the compensation, the Arya panel would take into account four factors – a base value of Rs 20 lakh as determined by a previous panel that probed the faulty implants, degree of disability and suffering of the patients due to loss of wages or other losses.
The decision to set up the Arya panel was taken days after Union Health Minister J P Nadda said the ministry was deliberating on the findings of the probe panel that submitted its report in February indicting the company of suppressing the facts and misleading the patients.
It recommended minimum Rs 20 lakh compensation to each of the patients, but none have received the money so far.
The Union Health Ministry has also asked the States and Union Territories to constitute separate committees to receive such complaints from affected patients. In a letter, the ministry asked the states to insert advertisements in newspapers to help affected patients approach the jurisdictional committee or the state drugs controller concerned.
The regulatory agency, Central Drug Standards Controller Organisation under the Health Ministry, had done precious little for close to seven years despite being aware of the sufferings of the recipients due to the faulty implants and revision surgeries.
The manufacturer, DePuy International, a subsidiary of J&J, withdrew the two faulty implants from several nations but continued to sell them in India till 2013.
Only in February 2017 the ministry constituted a committee to probe the incident.