Fifteen patients suffering due to faulty hip implants of Johnson and Johnson have approached the central expert committee, days after it was formed by the Union Health Ministry to determine the quantum of compensation to be provided to them. Sources in the Union Health Ministry said the panel has so far received representations from 15 affected patients from across the country and it will have its first meeting on September 18 to scrutinize each of them. The Center constituted the five-member expert committee to determine the quantum of compensation to be given to patients who have faulty hip implants, manufactured by DePuy International, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Apart from the central panel, the Union Health Ministry has also asked states and union territories to constitute separate committees so that they can receive such complaints from affected patients.
“We have received 15 such representations via mail since the expert committee was formed. The central expert committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss each of the cases,” a Health Ministry source said. The source said that after preliminary scrutiny, it has been found that there are one or two cases that are not related to the matter involving Johnson and Johnson. An earlier expert panel, constituted by the Union Health Ministry to investigate complaints about faulty articular surface replacement (ASR) hip implant devices, said in its report that the pharma giant suppressed facts on the harm of surgeries afterwards which was conducted on patients in India using the faulty systems. It had also suggested that the company pay compensation of around ₹20 lakh to the affected patients. The new five-member central committee is being chaired by R K Arya, director, Sports Injury Center, Safdurjung Hospital.
Others in the committee include C S Yadav, department of Orthopedics, AIIMS in New Delhi; Vineet Sharma, Head of Department of Orthopedics, King George’s Medical University in Lucknow; Bikas Medhi, professor pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; and Bhushan Tilak Kaul, professor of law in Delhi University. The sources said the ministry is soon going to make amendments in the medical devices rules in which there will be a provision for paying compensation to such affected patients in case it is proven. Patients and family members of those affected by Johnson and Johnson’s faulty hip implants had gathered in Delhi recently, demanding they be directly involved in the process of ascertaining the compensation. They asserted the amount should not only be based on the physical, medical criteria but also take into account the mental, social and economic harm faced by them. – Business Standard