Govt ready to review compensation: Hip implant victims

Nearly 4,700 Indians received the faulty implants, manufactured by DePuy International Ltd, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, between 2004 and 2010.

A group of patients, who suffered for years because of faulty hip implant manufactured and sold by a subsidiary of the multinational company Johnson and Johnson, on Wednesday claimed that a panel of experts had agreed to review the compensation due to them.

All of these individuals either personally underwent the faulty hip implant and subsequent correction surgeries, or had a family member who had suffered the agony and pain.

It was their first meeting with the expert panel, headed by R K Arya, director of Sports Injury Centre at Safdarjung Hospital here.

The Arya panel proposed a formula under which the victims are entitled to compensation varying between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 1 crore from J&J. The victims rejected the sum as inadequate.

“For my husband and me it came as a great shock when our doctors told us to stop planning a family due to the levels of cobalt and chromium (came from the implant) in my body and the negative impact that could have on pregnancy and baby,” said Jyoti Rani of Visakhapatnam, who suffered a miscarriage years after the recall of the device and was unaware of the toxicity associated with the implant until 2016.

“I hope the government and the Central Expert Committee realise that physical disability is only one of the serious problems faced by us; the impact on our families and our personal lives, the mental agony that we have suffered must be recognised,” she added.

Nearly 4,700 Indians received the faulty implants, manufactured by DePuy International Ltd, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, between 2004 and 2010. The faulty ASR XL Acetabular Hip System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System were recalled from the Indian market in August 2010 after global recall of the products.

Home bound

“Nothing is fine with me even after the revision surgery in 2009. Painkillers are my constant companion. Any outdoor activity, even games with children, are ruled out for life,” said 49-year-old Ashish, a patient from Pune, who had hip implant surgeries in 2005 and 2006.

“My brother had the hip surgery in 2006. He underwent the revision surgery (to replace the faulty implant with a new prosthesis) in December 2018. Since he would be bed-ridden for six months in the recuperation phase, he gave up his job,” said Rohit Garg, whose brother Rahul Garg was one of the ASR victims.

The patients and health activists supporting them, argue that physical disability could not be the sole criterion for determining compensation. “The compensation formula is problematic and the panel agreed to review it,” said Malini Aisola from All India Drug Action Network.

The meeting between the victims and expert panel members comes in the backdrop of nearly 20 MPs and MLAs writing to Union Health Minister J P Nadda seeking action against Johnson and Johnson.

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Govt ready to review compensation: Hip implant victims

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