Mumbai police to like move against Johnson and Johnson over faulty hip implants, says report
New Delhi: Johnson and Johnson (JnJ) seems to be in for aome more trouble, as the Mumbai police is about to file a formal case against JnJ's subsidiary DePuy Medical Pvt Ltd for supplying faulty hip implants to patients in India. The case will be registered based on a complaint that was filed nine-years-ago, suggests a recent media report in The Economic Times.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported in April 2019 that Mumbai police had opened an investigation and documented statements of patients and doctors to collect evidence in the case filed by an inspector in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maharashtra back in 2011.
The genesis of the case goes back to the year 2010 when a hip replacement device namely DePuy ASR was recalled over reports of metal poisoning and high failures due to the presence of toxic chromium, cobalt and a design flaw that filtered into the body, causing danger to lives. It was sold in India by DePuy International, a subsidiary of JnJ.
Around 4,700 patients underwent Acetabular surface replacement (ASR) surgeries in India between 2004 and 2010. However, only 1,080 patients have been traced so far through the company’s ASR helpline.
To look into the matter, the Government had constituted a panel, led by Dr Arun Kumar Agarwal, former dean of Maulana Azad Medical College. The panel had held the company guilty of failing to issue warnings to the patients of the danger posed by the orthopaedic implants, and a delay in recalling the device. The firm was “evasive” in providing information, claimed the report by the committee.
Based on the findings of a central government-constituted expert committee and a series of reports about allegedly faulty JnJ implants, a probe was launched.
Statements of more than 65 patients, 15 doctors and distributors were recorded by the police. Besides, statements of insurance surveyors and loss assessors through which DePuy had established the reimbursement process and ASR helpline were also recorded.
Examining the case in detail, cops are also trying to find more patients affected by the defected product, adding, that they have “enough concrete evidence” against the company.
“We have collected maximum evidence and will come to the conclusion very soon,” Ajinath Satpute, an assistant commissioner of police told ET.
“We have been trying to get in touch with patients in other states too. We have investigated the medical papers in respect of pre- and post-medical procedure.” Satpute added.