J&J Faulty Hip Implant Victims Meet Expert Committee, Discuss Compensation

Around 40 patients affected by alleged faulty Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip implants of Johnson and Johnson met the five-member Central Expert Committee (CEC) on Wednesday to help formulate a compensation mechanism. The Hip Implant Patients Support Group (HIPS), which is a support group for patients across India who have been implanted with faulty hip implants such as DePuy/J&J ASR resurfacing and ASR XL implants, had been repeatedly writing to the Health and Welfare Ministry asking them to hold a meeting related to a compensation formula. “This was the first time patients were meeting the CEC. The group presented its views about various deficiencies that we felt and recommended those have been missing in the Committee’s suggestion,” Renu Seth, victim, said during a media briefing held here.

Vijay Vojhala, one of the victims said that among the recommendations made by the HIPS, major focus was on the compensation amount along with other demands such as the J&J should continue to provide with reimbursement including medical management. “We all have undergone different surgeries. We have a wide range of issues which have been placed and aiming for international standard of compensation from Johnson and Johnson. The CEC said that they are open to revisiting the compensation considering our recommendations as well,” Vojhala said. In August 2018, the report of the Agarwal Committee set up by the government was released which recommended compensation for ASR hip implant victims. Subsequently, the CEC headed by Dr. R.K. Arya was convened in October 2018 to start the compensation process.

The compensation formula recently approved by the government was met with serious concerns from patients as it had many deficiencies, exclusions and lacunae. The patients placed shared their views regarding the compensation formula, the process and related issues at this much delayed meeting with the Central Expert Committee. On November 2018, the health ministry approved a formula for determining compensation for those who had received faulty ASR hip implants manufactured by DePuy Johnson and Johnson prior to August, 2010 will be eligible for the compensation. However, the victims rejected the compensation rolled out by Center stating that despite repeated requests, not a single consultation had taken place regarding the compensation process or the formula for determining the quantum of compensation with affected patients. – Business Standard

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