Persistent efforts by affected patients and a new government report expose the huge trauma and loss caused to thousands in India by a faulty Johnson & Johnson hip replacement device.
The implants in question are the ASR, or articular surface replacement XL acetabular system, and the ASR hip resurfacing system. Both were manufactured and sold by Deputy International Limited, or DePuy, United Kingdom, which is a subsidiary of J&J. The metal devices have components of cobalt, chromium and molybdenum. After being fitted into the patient, the ball and socket begin to function naturally. This involves one rubbing against the other. When both pieces of the implant are metal (as in this case), metal debris flakes off and enters the bloodstream. The increase in cobalt and chromium in the blood results in blood toxicity and metallosis.
Between 2006 and 2010, 4,700 patients in India had J&J hip implants. In 2010, the product was globally recalled. Although it was not used again in India, the plight of the patients was not addressed either by the company or by the government. It was only at the persistence of a few patients that the matter did not die away.