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Johnson & Johnson-funded Surgeons Warn Patients About Hip Implants

November 16, 2010

Johnson & Johnson-Funded Surgeons Warn Patients About Hip Implants

DePuy Orthopedics issued a recall of their ASR Acetabular hip replacement device and one other device in August of 2010. A 24-7 Press Release article quoted in full on the Medical Quack web site reveals that DePuy sent a packet to orthopedic surgeons two days before making the recall public. The packet announced the upcoming recall and instructed surgeons to pass along a medical release form to patients with the recalled device implanted.

The notice further explained that DePuy would give surgeons $50 for each medical release form signed by their patients. Legal representatives continue to warn patients to not sign any forms or give any information to DePuy without first consulting a qualified attorney. The press release notes further, “This act doesn’t come as a surprise considering the company had paid millions of dollars since 2007 to surgeons who endorsed their product and wrote favorable articles about the hip implant in medical journals.”

A PR Newswire release by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons from October 29, 2010 quotes orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chitranjan S. Ranawat saying, “We suggest that any patient who received a metal-on-metal hip inform all medical care givers about their joint replacement device and pay attention to post-operative pain.”

The article goes on to say, “As with any surgery, joint replacement surgery has some risks, but is successful in more than nine out of ten people.  If complications occur, most are successfully treatable.” However, DePuy’s hip replacement devices have a demonstrated failure rate of 1 in 8. The disclosure at the end of the article states, “Dr. C.S. Ranawat receives royalties from DePuy and Stryker and has received research support from DePuy and Stryker.”

The press release reads like a ploy to make DePuy and metal on metal hip replacement devices look good in anticipation of building legal pressure on the company and the devices.

References:

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Staff. (October 29, 2010) “Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement: Orthopaedic Surgeons Provide Awareness and Information to Patients, Medical Community At-Large.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from PR Newswire.

EMR Update Staff. (October 17, 2010) “DePuy Offering Surgeons $50 For Each Medical Record Release They Convince Patients to Sign–Hip Recall Settlements.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from All Voices.

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