CBS Atlanta (5/16/12) aired a report on dangerous devices and included information from Consumer Reports, who investigated the use of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices such as the DePuy ASR. According to the CBS report, one patient, Calhoun Police Lieutenant John McGivern, developed a serious infection after his ASR hip was implanted. He was rushed to hospital, fell into a coma, underwent 13 surgeries and has since suffered permanent health problems. His medical bills totaled more than $1 million, but despite the ASR being recalled, DePuy has reportedly refused to pay McGivern's medical bills.
It is not just in the US that the metal-on-metal hip devices have caused controversy. According to WA Today (5/17/12) more than 1,000 patients in Australia have undergone hip revision surgery—surgery to replace an implanted hip device—because of an early failure. Experts say the failure rate for the DePuy ASR hip implants is approximately 25 percent over seven years, which is about five times higher than the normal failure rate.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it is having an advisory panel meeting to discuss whether there should be more stringent rules for allowing medical devices on the market. According to The Morning Call (5/10/12), Steven Lorenz—a patient who received a DePuy metal-on-metal hip replacement device—plans to attend the meetings and hopes to speak to the FDA about his ordeal.
READ MORE DEPUY HIP REPLACEMENT LEGAL NEWS
Lawsuits have been filed against DePuy alleging certain DePuy hip implant devices had a high failure rate and that DePuy knew or should have known about that failure rate, but left the device on the market longer than it should have. According to Businessweek (5/1/12), more than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed in state and federal court. Both the plaintiffs and defendants have agreed to hold bellwether trials. The first trial is reportedly scheduled for mid-December 2012, with another trial in January, 2013.
DePuy has responded to all allegations saying it believes it acted appropriately and responsibly.