A group of patients who became victims of faulty hip implant by Johnson and Johnson (J&J) has written to Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, rejecting the compensation formula accepted by the government stating it was done without consulting the stakeholders.
"We would like to clarify that in spite of repeated requests, to date not a single consultation has taken place regarding the compensation process or the formula for determining the quantum of compensation with affected patients or civil society groups," said the Hip Implant Patients Support Group in a statement, a copy of which IANS has viewed.
The patients' letter came a week after the Health Ministry approved compensations between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 1.23 crore for such patients on the recommendations of an expert committee.
"We have repeatedly said that transparency in the proceedings of the committees entrusted to carry out the compensation and in the implementation of the compensation mechanism is paramount. Yet, compounding the injustices of many years, patients are being completely sidelined and reduced to more spectators even in the government led process of compensating victims," it stated.
The patients also stated the proposed formula has got various shortcomings as well as limitations in its applicability.
"The formula has multiple gaps that may have easily been avoided if the process of consultation with victims and civil society groups was done. The formula unjustly denies compensation to many patients," Vijay Vojhala, one of the affected patients, said in the letter, made available on Thursday.
The patients have also highlighted that medical management has also been ignored both by the Expert Committee and Central Expert Committee.
The group has also alleged that a committee set up to decide the compensation exclusively consulted with J&J during the process and sidelined patients.
In 2010, J&J globally recalled hip implants because more patients were found to require revision surgeries than normally reported for such devices.
Last month, the victims had written three letters complaining lack of transparency and patient consultation in the compensation process, including lack of information being made available regarding the process of compensation, deliberations of the Arya Committee and the formulation of compensation norms.
A four-member panel is currently headed by R.K. Arya, Director, Sports Injury Centre, Safdarjung Hospital, which also includes Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, Additional Secretary R.K. Vats, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) S. Eswara Reddy.