It seems like the more we learn about the inner workings at the corporate offices of DePuy, the well known manufacturer of artificial hips and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the more disturbing image we have about a company that clearly puts its bottom line ahead of everything else— even patient safety.
A recent New York Times article, “Hip Device Phaseout Followed F.D.A, Data Request” depicts a company so focused on corporate profitability that the company continued to allow their artificial hips to be implanted in patients after mounting data suggested problems with the devices including: premature failure, metal poisoning and other disabilities in patients.
The Times article cites a 2009 letter from the FDA to executives at DePuy highlighting concerns about the manufacturer’s ASR hip implant devices lackluster track record for safety. In contrast to a safe hip replacement device that was promoted to last an anticipated 15 years in patients, the FDA letter voiced concerns over the devices longevity and metal-on-metal design that seemed to correlate with a higher than anticipated failure rate.
Rather than address the safety concerns identified by the FDA, it now appears as though DePuy executives were so greedy that they continued to keep their hip replacement device (known as the articular surface replacement or ASR device) on the market as long as possible. With a stock pile of the ASR devices and unsuspecting patients (who were never privy to the FDA’s letter) DePuy intended to squeeze every penny of profits from an inferior medical device.
According to a DePuy executive’s email in May, 2010 (nine months following the FDA cautionary letter),
We are almost out of ASR, and the few doctors still using ASR are threatening to leave DePuy anyhow.
As a lawyer representing patients with DePuy hip complications, I find the company’s behavior surrounding the way that they have handled all aspects of the recall to be abhorrent. However, now that we are learning more about DePuy’s intention to push hip replacement devices into the stream of commerce— and into patient’s bodies, I think we can only assume that this behavior is nothing less than reckless and in clear disregard for the well being of patients and even more deserving of a significant payout to deserving plaintiffs.
***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. (800) 926-7565 or complete the contact form on this page.
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