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British Medical Journal: DePuy Knew About Faulty Hip Implants as Long as 7 Years Ago, Even Though Product Was Only Recalled in 2010

British Medical JournalA scathing report issued by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says DePuy Orthopaedics was well aware that several of its hip implants were faulty, even as it continued to aggressively market the products to surgeons.

The report, written by BMJ investigations editor Deborah Cohen, cites an internal DePuy memo from 2005. The memo reads:

“In addition to inducing potential changes in immune function, there has been concern for some time that wear debris may be carcinogenic. The mechanism is not known and only 24 local malignancies have been reported in patients with joint replacements. Also worrying is the possibility of distant effect. One study suggested a threefold risk of lymphoma and leukemia 10 years after joint replacement.”

DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System first came on the market in July 2003, and were recalled in August 2010. During those years, at least 90,000 people received hip implants using DePuy’s technology. So far, the “revision rate,” or rate of corrective operations, has been about 13 percent, according to DePuy’s Web site. The actual number could be much higher.

The BMJ story also reports that DePuy failed to notify surgeons of design changes to the ASR systems around 2005. The changes led to “increased wear, high levels of metal ions in the tissues and blood and higher rates of joint failure” according to the article. As we’ve noted several times over the past year on Nursing Homes Abuse Blog, metal particles can cause several serious issues, including:

  • Kidney Failure
  • Hemorrhages
  • Deafness
  • Impaired Liver Function
  • Increased Risk of Cancer

Johnson & Johnson, which ones DePuy, announced Wednesday that litigation costs related to the hip replacement recall have cost the company $271 million. Still, the pharmaceutical giant managed to garner a profit of $3.91 billion for the quarter.

***If you or a family member has received a DePuy hip and has developed complications in terms of pain, revision surgery or metal poisoning, we would be honored to discuss your legal options with you– without any cost or obligation. Our DePuy hip replacement lawyers are working on behalf of many people in your position and we can answer most of your concerns on the spot. (888) 424-5757 or complete the contact form on this page.***
To see Jonathan Rosenfeld discuss the DePuy Hip Replacement Recall on LXBN-TV, please visit:
Jonathan Rosenfeld Discusses Dangers of DePuy Hip Replacement Products

Related Rosenfeld Injury Law Blog Posts
All-Metal Hip Resurfacing Devices Receive More Scrutiny

DePuy Hip Replacement Patients: What the Company Doesn’t Want you To Know About Your Legal Rights

In Aftermath of DePuy Hip Problems, FDA Takes a Closer Look at Metal Hips

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