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Australian Hearing Details Three-Year Delay for DePuy ASR Hip Implant Recall

 By PWALawon Sep-29-11 2:12am

An orthopaedic expert testified in front of an Australian Senate committee that DePuy Orthopaedics waited three years to recall its ASR artificial hip replacement, despite having knowledge of its failure. The delay resulted in an estimated 5000 Australian patients who received a DePuy ASR hip implant having to undergo repeat operations.

Stephen Graves told a Senate committee yesterday of his concerns about the time it took for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to act on evidence of the high failure rate of the device, which first came to light in 2006. Solicitors acting on behalf of people affected by the allegedly faulty hip implants filed an action against the orthopaedics manufacturer DePuy in the Federal Court yesterday seeking compensation for harm.

The plaintiffs are also seeking punitive damages on the basis that the company, owned by Johnson & Johnson, allowed the products to remain on the market despite sufficient evidence showing that the devices were defective.

The solicitors said that as many as one in eight people who received the implant required it to be replaced within five years.

Anthony Bishop, the Australian head of J&J, told the committee that the registry first picked up a 50 per cent higher rate in repeat surgery involving the DePuy product in 2006 and mentioned it to the TGA.

Rohan Hammett, the national manager of the TGA, told the hearing that between 2006 and 2008 the orthopaedic expert advisory group had recommended more training of surgeons using the product because of its technical complexity.

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