It turns out that Johnson & Johnson became aware that its all-metal hip replacement device had an alarmingly high failure rate in 2011, not long after the company recalled its hip implant device. The company discovered that its all-metal hip implant device would fail within five years in nearly 40 percent of patients who received it. To put that into perspective, hip implant devices generally last for about 15 years before they wear out and need to be replaced. Even if a hip replacement device fails prematurely, the early replacement rate is usually 1 percent after a year, or 5 percent at five years, according to the New York Times.
The New York Times article reported that Johnson & Johnson never released the shocking failure data projections for its device. To make matters worse, while Johnson & Johnson was performing its internal analysis about the failure rate, the company was publicly playing down similar findings of a disturbingly high failure rate from a British implant registry. However, Johnson & Johnson’s attempts to brush off the news of its high failure rate were not successful since other medical organizations substantiated the high failure rates for the company’s hip replacement device.
The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:
It’s so frustrating to hear about a company withholding important information about the serious risks associated with its product. The tactics used by Johnson & Johnson are not surprising; our personal injury law firm has routinely encountered press releases and reports by corporations attempting to downplay troubling studies that point to problems and defects in health-related products like hip replacement devices. But we have to remember we’re dealing with people’s lives here. There are 93,000 patients worldwide, according to the New York Times article, who have received a hip replacement device with materials manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. That means there are potentially thousands of people who may suffer horrific pain and agony if their hip replacement device suddenly fails. It’s unacceptable, plain and simple.
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