06 Oct 2018
SC seeks Center's response on faulty hip implants by J&J
The Supreme Court yesterday sought the Center's response on a plea alleging that "faulty" and "deadly" hip implants, made by US-based pharma major Johnson & Johnson (J&J), have been fitted into the bodies of 14,525 Indian patients, termed as "medical negligence" by an expert committee.
The plea was filed by one Arun Kumar Goenka, whose mother had died following faulty hip implant surgeries.
Govt formed committee to look into faulty hip implant disaster
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph asked the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to apprise it within two months about its actions.
Senior lawyers Salman Khurshid and Vivek Narayan Sharma said the Central Government had in 2017 established a committee to look into the aftermath of the implant disaster, distributed by J&J.
Court sought assistance of one of the Additional Solicitor Generals
"The Committee found J&J (its Indian subsidiary, and DePuy Orthopedics INC collectively) guilty of medical-negligence, however, nothing has been done to discover vast number of patients," the plea said, seeking direction to the Center and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.
The court, taking note of the PIL, sought the assistance of one of the Additional Solicitor Generals and listed the matter after two months.
J&J, DePuy withdrew hip implants when found defective in 2010
DePuy Orthopedics Inc (USA), a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling and exporting medical implants including Articular Surface Replacements (ASR) hip implants, the plea said.
In 2010, the firms had, on their own, withdrawn the hip implants on the ground that they were defective, but those were nonetheless sold in India illegally from 2005-2006, informed the plea.
Firms illegally sold hip implants in India from 2005-2006: Plea
"In fact, J&J applied for Import license only on December 6, 2006 and was granted license by Drug Controller (India) on December 15, 2006," the plea said, adding, however, "showing contempt to Indian Laws, the firms sold the implants without Imports License".
J&J also had to pay $4.40 billion to over 9,000 victims in USA, but in India, action is still pending, it added.