November 2, 2012, 6:18 pm
Technology to ease chronic pain and help people lead normal lives was promoted as a modern day miracle, but now it’s been found to be faulty – causing more problems than it aids.
Some of them are even deadly, and an undercover investigation has shown that corrupt overseas officials allowed these implants onto the market without proper testing.
An international medical scandal, the result of profits being put before patient safety, is erupting – and Australia isn’t immune.
An undercover sting of Europe’s medical regulators – those who are meant to protect patient welfare – has uncovered the fact that instead, they were protecting the profits of multinational companies.
The deceit is breathtaking. For just over $3000 they’ll approve a device, and even advise the manufacturer to lie about where it’s made – recommending that the product’s label should say it’s made in a European country, as it’s better from a marketing point of view.
The corruption is rife, and the impacts are being felt all the way in Australia.
According to Carol Bennett from the Consumer Health Forum, “Australia relies on that system. We only test two per cent of medical devices here in Australia.”
If that figure is right, only 200 of the 10,000 medical devices available here have been tested by Australia’s watchdog – the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The TGA accepts overseas standards because we’re bound by a trade agreement.
However Bennett believes that must now change, following the British Medical Journal’s investigation.
“We need to now question whether or not that partnership with the European bodies is actually in the best interests of Australian health consumers,” she said.
Therapeutic Goods Administration – www.tga.gov.au
This reporter is on Twitter at @AdamMarshallTT
- Faulty medical implants investigation: Patients who were promised an easier life, but got more pain and worry – Telegraph (earlsview.com)
- Faulty medical implants investigation: Surgeons’ letter to the Telegraph – Telegraph (earlsview.com)
- Dodgy medical implants getting approved – EasyBlog (earlsview.com)
- Faulty medical implants investigation: Patients treated ‘like guinea pigs’ – Telegraph (earlsview.com)
- Faulty medical implants investigation: Patients failed by poor implant regulation, say surgeons (telegraph.co.uk)
- Faulty medical implants investigation: Patients at risk from flaws in medical device rules, admit EU chiefs – Telegraph (earlsview.com)
- Faulty medical implants investigation: Regulators’ trail of deception has been exposed, says chairman – Telegraph (earlsview.com)
- Are Dissolvable Electronics The Future Of Medical Implants? (singularityweblog.com)
- Faulty implant action ‘too slow’ (bbc.co.uk)
- FINALLY – New rules to end secrecy over safety of medical implants – Telegraph (earlsview.com)