Hall of Shame: Depuy
Wexler Wallace is currently investigating cases around defective hip implant systems. Two Depuy hip systems – the ASR™ XL Acetabular System and the ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System – have been recalled after more than two years of complaints from patients suffering from injuries and requiring revision surgeries.
The hip implant system is comprised of metal components, including a metal cap on the ball of the femur. With natural wear, metal-on-metal movement causes metallosis, where the friction from the metal parts release potentially toxic chromium and cobalt particles into the body. Metallosis can cause nerve and tissue damage, rashes, and inflammation around the hip area, and in serious cases, patients may need to undergo corrective surgery.
Depuy plans to pay patients for “reasonable and customary” medical costs associated with hip testing and treatment linked with the ASR hip systems. And according to the Depuy recall website, for patients who don’t have out-of-pocket medical fees, Depuy states that it may reimburse them for travel expenses and wages from lost work time – basically, there is no guarantee of travel and lost wage reimbursement.
Why would it take over two years for Depuy to realize that these hip implant systems pose serious risks and finally recall the products? Within these two years, Depuy has sold 93,000 hip implant systems, meaning 93,000 patients face, or will face, the consequences of these faulty medical products. Even if Depuy intends to pay “reasonable and customary” costs for affected patients, no amount of money will be able to cover the pain and suffering that these patients experience.
Photo Credit: Michael Simmons