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Govt panel to fix compensation for Johnson & Johnson’s faulty hip implant

The health ministry has also drafted eligibility criteria for compensation, and written to the states and Union territories to form a separate committee at their levels to track and assess the cases.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2018 01:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Johnson & Johnson,Faulty hip implant,Government panel
While 275 patients underwent revision surgeries, the rest of those contacted are being monitored for side effects. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Union health ministry has constituted a five-member committee of experts to determine the quantum of compensation for people who received Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) faulty hip implant.

The ministry has also drafted eligibility criteria for compensation, and written to the states and Union territories to form a separate committee at their levels to track and assess the cases.

“The (central) committee shall submit its recommendations to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) within 45 days from the date of receipt of report from the respective state-level committee,” reads the ministry’s order. It had set up an 11-member panel on February 7, 2017 to look into complaints of patients against J&J’s metal-on-metal Articular Surface Replacement hip implant devices — XL Acetabular Hip System and Hip Resurfacing System.

That committee submitted its report in February, asking for a new committee of specialists that will decide on cases on an individual basis, while suggesting treatment along with a compensation amount of at least ~20 lakh for the affected patients. “We have accepted the report and made modifications such as instead of the recommended regional-level committees, the government has asked for state-level committees. Patients can also directly approach the central committee,” said Dr S Eswara Reddy, Drug Controller General of India.

The newly-created committee comprises three bone and joint specialists - Dr RK Arya from Safdarjung’s Sports Injury Centre; Dr CS Yadav from AIIMS, Delhi; Dr Vineet Sharma from KGMU, Lucknow; Dr Bikas Medhi from PGIMER, Chandigarh; and Professor BT Kaul from Delhi University’s law department.

“I haven’t received any official communication so far but if the responsibility has been given to me, I will see to it that it is fulfilled,” Yadav said.

The number of people who received the implant before 2010 is not clear, and J&J has been able to track only 1,080 patients through its helpline. Of them, 275 underwent revision surgeries and the remaining are being monitored for side effects. “Not everyone would need revision surgery even if the implant was faulty.”

The central committee will review the state-level committee report and patients’ documents, and decide the compensation with ~20 lakh as the base amount, degree and percentage of disability, patient suffering on account of loss of wages, and other losses.

The CDSCO will decide on the compensation based on recommendations of both committees.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 01:50 IST