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The government of India is ordering the makers of the DePuy ASR hip system to track down and pay compensation to all individuals who received the recalled metal-on-metal hip replacement in that country.
A letter from India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare was sent to DePuy International U.K., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, following an August 30th order (PDF) by the Central Government to create a committee to determine the amount of compensation required for recipients of the recalled hip implants.
A DePuy ASR recall was issued in August 2010, after the manufacturer acknowledged that a higher-than-expected number of the metal-on-metal hip implants were failing within a few years after surgery. While original estimates suggested that about one out of every eight may fail within five years, subsequent data has indicated that the DePuy ASR failure rate may be substantially higher.
The hip replacement design features a metal femoral head that rotates within a metal acetabular cup, resulting in the release of metallic debris as the metal-on-metal parts rub against each other during normal daily activities. This debris can cause metal blood poisoning, known has hip metallosis, with can lead to the loosening and ultimate failure of the artificial hip.
In the U.S. Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedic’s subsidiary agreed to pay more than $3 billion to settle ASR cases in 2013.
More than 12,000 DePuy ASR hip cases were filed prior to the original settlement, but it is estimated that 90,000 of the implants were sold world-wide before the design was recalled in August 2010.
There were reportedly about 4,700 DePuy ASR hip procedures performed in India from 2004 through 2010. However, the ASR hip helpline in that country has only located 1,080 of those patients. As a result, rhe government is requiring DePuy to trace down the remaining patients and collect data on their health status and the status of the hip implant.
It must then pay them adequate compensation, based on the level of their pain, disability, suffering, and loss of wages. The Indian government estimates the required Hipcompensation is about $28,000 per patient.