Centre asked to reply to hip implants PIL

Centre asked to reply to hip implants PIL

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Union government to respond to a PIL seeking action against Johnson and Johnson and others for faulty hip implants in about 15,000 people in the country.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph also sought a copy of an experts committee report within two months on a petition filed by a businessman, Arun Kumar Goenka, through advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma.

The petitioner contended that the Ministry of Health and Drugs Standard Control Organisation, responsible for approval of new drugs and control, had failed to take any concrete action against the US-based company, Johnson and Johnson, and its subsidiary company here against “illegal implantation of faulty, deadly and poisonous "DePuy ASR Hip Implants” on 14,525 patients in the country.

The petitioner's mother, who had undergone hip implant, had to suffer a revision surgery and three further surgeries due to formation of pus and foreign body granuloma, causing septic arthritis. She died on March 11 this year due to dementia caused by its side effects, the petition claimed.

The Union government had set up a committee on February 8, 2017, under the chairmanship of Arun Agarwal to look into the aftermath of the tragedy caused by faulty hip implants but nothing has been done to discover the vast number of patients, the petitioner contended.

He claimed these implants were “unlawfully” sold in India without approval in 2005. In 2010, these implants were found to be defective by the manufacturer and a recall notice was issued worldwide, including in India. “Most of the Indian patients are untraceable and may be in great danger,” he contended.

“The awareness in India on the issue has been negligible as 1500 patients have been identified and 275 have undergone revision surgery,” he added.

In 2011, an FIR was filed in Mumbai by the drug controller but no action has been taken till date. As many as 15,820 implants were imported in the country, he claimed.

In the US, the company had entered into settlement agreements with the patients and agreed to pay a sum of Rs 15,000 crore, the petitioner stated.

In his petition, the businessman sought a direction for the appointment of a Special Investigation Team comprising senior medical and senior police officers for taking effective measures to implement the swift and immediate action to save lives of all the patients of 'DePuy ASR Implants'.