Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is learnt to have agreed to pay compensation to patients who received faulty hip implants years ago. This comes after the regulator — Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation — asked the medical device maker to pay Rs 2 million as interim compensation to the recipients of such implants, as recommended by a committee appointed by the government. Last month, the government asked states to form separate committees to evaluate claims.
A senior government official said, “The company has said it would provide compensation to all patients who register their disability with the state committees looking into the matter.” The government aims to provide a basic compensation of Rs 2 million and additional compensation based on the level of disability arising from the faulty implants.
J&J could not be reached for its comment on the issue. It is estimated that more than 4,000 patients were affected. The government wrote to J&J’s subsidiary DePuy Medical, which made the devices, asking them to provide compensation till 2025.
The government-appointed committee, which had submitted its report to the health ministry earlier this year, had noted that the firm has been negligent and, therefore, should compensate patients who have been going through “agony and pain for years”. This committee was set up in 2017 by the health ministry. The committee submitted its report in February this year.
The complaints about faulty implants relate to cases before 2010. Such complaints came from many parts of the world, resulting in a global recall in 2011. Even as J&J paid hefty compensations in some parts of the world including $2.5 billion in the US, it maintained “untraceability” of patients in India while not giving out any compensation in the country.
Now, it has been decided that eligible patients will be screened (cost of which would be borne by J&J) to determine the degree of disability. The patient reports will be submitted to the central expert committee, which will then determine the quantum of compensation. DePuy's ASR Hip System was registered in India in October 2006 with a validity of three years. The arm applied for a renewal of the licence in May 2009 and obtained a fresh registration certificate in December 2009.