Union Health Ministry said the panel has so far received representations from 15 affected patients from Faulty hip implants across the country and it will have its first meeting on September 18 to scrutinise each of them.
New Delhi: Fifteen patients suffering due to “faulty” hip implants of Johnson and Johnson have approached the central expert committee, days after it was formed by the Union Health Ministry to determine the quantum of compensation to be provided to them. Sources in the Union Health Ministry said the panel has so far received representations from 15 affected patients from across the country and it will have its first meeting on September 18 to scrutinise each of them.
The Centre constituted the five-member expert committee to determine the quantum of compensation to be given to patients who have “faulty” hip implants, manufactured by DePuy International, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.
Apart from the central panel, the Union Health Ministry has also asked states and union territories to constitute separate committees so that they can receive such complaints from affected patients.
“We have received 15 such representations via mail since the expert committee was formed. The central expert committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss each of the cases,” a Health Ministry source said.
The source said that after preliminary scrutiny, it has been found that there are one or two cases that are not related to the matter involving Johnson and Johnson.
An earlier expert panel, constituted by the Union Health Ministry to investigate complaints about faulty articular surface replacement (ASR) hip implant devices, said in its report that the pharma giant “suppressed” facts on the harm of surgeries afterwards which was conducted on patients in India using the “faulty” systems.
It had also suggested that the company pay compensation of around Rs 20 lakh to the affected patients.
They asserted the amount should not only be based on the physical, medical criteria but also take into account the mental, social and economic harm faced by them.
Johnson and Johnson hip implant victims narrate their ordeal
Kabir Chandhok went for a hip implant surgery hoping for a better life but the thirty-four-year-old says what he got was more medical complications, including blood poisoning and shooting pains.
He is among the many suffering after “faulty” hip implants by the pharmaceutical multinational Johnson and Johnson were used in the country’s hospitals. Another Delhi-based citizen, who underwent a hip replacement surgery in 2008, did not even know that the pain he was suffering from was due to the faulty implant until he read about it in media.
“Three years after the surgery, I was never informed that it was the company’s fault,” he said.
In 2014, he underwent a revision surgery and spent a huge amount on the treatment as he was not aware that he was entitled to reimbursement.
The government last week started tracing all those who received the faulty ARS system hip implants, which were imported and marketed in India between 2006 and 2010 by the Johnson and Johnson.
The new five-member central committee is being chaired by R K Arya, director, Sports Injury Centre, Safdarjung Hospital.
Others in the committee include C S Yadav, Department of Orthopaedics, AIIMS in New Delhi; Vineet Sharma, Head of Department of Orthopaedics, King George’s Medical University in Lucknow; Bikas Medhi, professor pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; and Bhushan Tilak Kaul, professor of law in Delhi University.
The sources said the ministry is soon going to make amendments in the medical devices rules in which there will be a provision for paying compensation to such affected patients in case it is proven.
Patients and family members of those affected by Johnson and Johnson’s faulty hip implants had gathered in Delhi recently, demanding they be directly involved in the process of ascertaining the compensation.
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