The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that 35 patients should receive compensation in the Johnson and Johnson hip implant case after careful scrutiny of the 68 applications received from across Maharashtra over the past six months.
The Central government began the process of calculating compensation for patients after finding the faulty implant had adversely affected thousands in 2018. The move came after much delay – in 2013 Johnson & Johnson was directed to pay compensation of $2.5 billion (Rs 2,500,000,000) to around 8,000 US citizens who had sued the company for faulty implants.
A report by Maharashtra FDA, which registered an FIR against the company in March 2013, shows J&J called for a recall late in India in 2010. Till then, DePuy Medical Private Limited, its subsidiary, had imported 15,829 implants in the country.
In 2013, a Maharashtra FDA report stated that 68 patients had high ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) value, which indicated poisoning due to the faulty implant. The report also stated that the ASR implants led to cobalt and chromium ions leaching in the body, leading to muscular toxicity and pain in addition to affecting mobility.
Even as Maharashtra has begun the painstaking effort of reaching out to all the affected persons, patients claim the process is tedious.
Dr Nilesh Shah (58), who underwent the first hip implant surgery in 2005, second implant in 2007 and revision surgery in 2016, said the side effects worsened since his revision surgery. “My body is tilted towards one side. I played table tennis regularly. Now, I require special shoes to play the sport,” Shah said. He added that while J&J offered to pay for those who required revision surgery, the pharma giant has refused compensation to those who have still not required revision surgery.
Officials said the compensation will be based on the level of deformity caused by the implant. It may range between Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1.22 crore. Several have alleged locomotive disability and hearing problem. – The Indian Express