Friday, February 22, 2019
Home > Business > Patients seek criminal action against Johnson & Johnson’s for ‘faulty’ implants

Patients seek criminal action against Johnson & Johnson’s for ‘faulty’ implants

Patients seek criminal action against Johnson & Johnson’s for ‘faulty’ implants
NEW DELHI: Patients who have suffered from Johnson & Johnson’s “faulty” hip implants, which were globally recalled in 2010, have urged health minister JP Nadda to take criminal action against the company and also make public the report prepared by a committee of the health ministry.

Patients are concerned about the report suggesting a number of tests yet again to determine the severity of damage to define the penalty.

The experts recommended a separate set of tests for patients with symptoms and those without symptoms to ascertain the extent of disability and assess the quantum of compensation.

“It has to be first decided whether there is any permanent disability and, if so, the extent of such permanent disability,” said the report of the expert committee formed by the health ministry last year.

The committee, headed by former dean of
Maulana Azad Medical College Dr Arun K Agarwal, had submitted the report to the ministry in February this year. “It is now 6 months since the report was submitted but it has not been made available to the public or to us. Since February, some of us have made requests for the expert committee report to officials, only to be told that the report cannot be shared without providing any reasons,” a group of patients who suffered disability wrote to Nadda.

“We believe that the investigation of J&J’s
faulty hip implants and the resulting governmental action should be done in a transparent manner so as to ensure that vested interests do not unduly influence the process,” the letter said.

Based on the Dr Agarwal committee recommendations, the health ministry has asked the drug regulator to set up a central expert committee and multiple expert committees to receive complaints and assess the quantum of compensation.

The base amount recommended by a government committee is Rs 20 lakh. According to the regulator, the company informed that faulty implants were placed in 4,700 patients in India but over 3600 patients are yet to be traced. The government now plans to place advertisements in dailies to identify such patients.