Hip Failures Could Cost Industry Billions
Posted 28 December 2011 | By
The high-profile failures of metal-on-metal artificial hips could cost medical device manufacturers, employers, insurers and government programs billions of dollars, according an analysis by the New York Times. In addition to individual patients looking to recoup medical costs and damages for pain and suffering, major programs such as the US' Medicare are likely to try to recover costs. Lawsuits relating to the device failures have surged to over 5,000 in total.
The program has been a black eye for the beleaguered 510(k) program, which originally cleared the devices. The National Institutes of Health prominently featured the issues associated with the metal-on-metal hip replacements when reviewing the entire 510(k) program back in July. The lawsuits, which are currently affecting Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy and Zimmer Holdings, promise to drag on for years and keep the device failures in the spotlight.
In the meantime, DePuy has recalled more than 40,000 of its all-metal implants. Zimmer has continued to maintain that its products are safe, and has settled several hundred patient claims made against it so far.