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Friday, December 17, 2010

Defective Artificial Hips Maybe a Costly problem for Workers' Compensation

The workers' compensation insurance system is about to be the initial payor for joint replacement surgery and for the complications of defective artificial hip joint damage that were said to be inadequately tested because of a loophole in FDA's rules. With an estimated 93,000 DePuy recalled artificial hips implanted worldwide, the workers' compensation benefit system will probably be paying for a vast amount of the remediation and treatment costs, and then having its hand out through direct and indirect subrogation efforts to seek reimbursement from the manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson.

Called "one of the most troubled orthopedic implants of the past decade," recently recalled Johnson & Johnson artificial hips, DePuy Orthopedics, have drawn recent attention for being sold and promoted without adequate testing. The concern has been focused on devices known as A.S.R., Artificial Surface Replacement hip joints. The device was first introduced in the US in 2005 and was recalled from the market in August 2008.

The New York Times reported that, "Current rules do not require device producers to notify the F.D.A. when they bundle together components from approved and unapproved devices, Mark Melkerson, an agency official, acknowledged. New iterations of device designs already used on patients typically receive scant scrutiny from the F.D.A. before going to market."

It further reported that, "... back in 2005, the F.D.A. allowed DePuy to start selling the other version of the A.S.R., a modified standard hip replacement that used the same A.S.R. cup found in the company’s unapproved resurfacing device." 

As a result of hip joint pain following surgery, and many adverse reports, and surgical implant failures, further investigation have resulted in the recall of DePuy Orthopedics, ASR artificial hips,  Some individuals may suffer damage to bones, muscles and nerves following implant. Lawsuits have been filed against DePuy.