The Supreme Court Monday granted one week’s time to the government’s expert panel to submit its answer on faulty hip implants marketed and sold by pharma major Johnson & Johnson. The direction from the major court came on a PIL filed by Delhi-based Arun Kumar Goenka, seeking probe into these faulty implants and also demanding compensation for victims.
Before, on Thursday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare approved a formula for compensation based on the recommendations of the expert committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Arun Kumar Agarwal, ex-dean and professor of ENT, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. Patients who got faulty hip implants from Johnson and Johnson will receive compensation of Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1.22 crore, depending on their age and extent of disability.
The Government committee indicted Johnson & Johnson for “suppressing” major facts on the aftermath of its ASR hip implant surgeries. Over 3,600 patients with the implants remain untraceable and, at least four deaths were reported from those who got these implants — that case, filed by the family of a patient who demised, is now in the Supreme Court.
An investigation by The Indian Express also found out how Johnson & Johnson used a loophole in US laws to push into the Indian market, just like it did with ASR, another hip implant product, Pinnacle, without any clinical trials in the country. The investigation further exposed how medical devices are advertised, sold, and surgically implanted across the world under regulatory systems riddled with holes.