Patients who have received a hip or joint implant from the fine folks at DePuy, Stryker or other manufacturer – as well as those who have a pelvic sling – may have grounds to sue, particularly if they are experiencing symptoms. The hip and joint implants have been failing at appalling rates; devices that were designed to last fifteen years or longer are having problems after a few months.
The transnational pharmaceutical giant – once the “most trusted brand in America” – that brought you such fine products as the ASR hip implant and the Gynecare Prolift pelvic sling is hurting.
But not nearly enough. Johnson and Johnson reports a 7% decline in profits in Quarter 3 of 2012. Part of this is indeed due to litigation over its defective products. Another part of the equation is due to “acquisition costs and factory upgrade expenses.”
There may be yet some skeletons waiting to be found in the corporate closets of ASR hip manufacturer DePuy Orthopaedics – now a defendant in Multi-District Litigation overseen by the Honorable Judge David Katz.
In November of 2010, it was revealed that two orthopedic surgeons – Drs. Thomas Schmalzreid and Thomas Vail, who were co-inventors of DePuy's ASR hip implant – not only received royalties on each unit sold, but were also paid millions of dollars to promote the product and downplay any concerns about problems that became apparent. Furthermore, these doctors allegedly withheld information from patients about the potential problems associated with the product.
DePuy Orthopedics is a Johnson & Johnson Company, a divison of Johnson & Johnson, and DePuy specializes in the production of custom hip implants and other orthopedic devices. They have recently as of the end of August, 2010, recalled one of their major lines of metal-on-metal hip implants. This particular model is known as an ASR XL. ASR is an articular surface replacement system.
The term “bellwether” comes from an early English term, referring to a gelded ram with a bell around his neck. His purpose was to lead the rest of the flock; the bell would help the shepherds keep track of where the flock was going.
The bad news was confirmed this month in the journal Orthopedics: nine out of every ten patients who receive a Metal-on-Metal (MoM) hip implant will wind up having revision surgery within three years. And between one and two of those patients will have suffered “significant localized soft tissue reactions,” according to the research study. Such reactions include a range of symptoms, including pain and swelling in the groin region and the development of masses known as “pseudotumors.”
That's the number of “adverse events” related to metal-on-metal (MoM) joint replacements recorded during the first eleven years of the 21st Century. And over 72% of those occurred in 2011 alone.
According to the FDA, there was a 400% increase in such reports from 2007 to 2008 – and a similarly dramatic increase beginning in 2010 when Johnson & Johnson's DuPuy Orthopaedics division started recalling their devices. In 2011, there were over 12,000 adverse events reported on MoM devices as opposed to around 6,300 for other types.
Has Johnson & Johnson seen the light?
Earlier this month, the pharmaceutical giant was finally convinced that it was in their best interest to sever ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a “non-profit” organization that according to its 2009 IRS Form 990 (“Return of an Organization Exempt From Income Tax”), exists to “advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty, through a non-partisan, public-private partnership between America's legislators and [the private sector].”
If you believe you have a case against DePuy Orthopaedics, you need to file a complaint before August 23rd. Otherwise, you may be out of luck to file your DePuy lawsuit.
In March of 2012, an article was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in which their investigations reporter wrote of a possible connection between the failure of metal-on-metall hip implants, such as the DePuy hip replacement, and the risk of certain types of cancer.