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Last Updated : Jan 08, 2019 02:30 PM IST | Source:

Lawmakers urge govt action against J&J in faulty hip implant case

There are currently no specific legal provisions to provide compensation to patients.

Viswanath Pilla @viswanath_pilla

Several MP and MLAs cutting across party lines have written to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda seeking action against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and ensure justice is handed patients suffering from J&J's alleged faulty ASR hip implants.

More than a dozen law-makers from the Congress, Shiv Sena, Apna Dal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have expressed their concern over J&J 'attempts' to block the compensation process.

The letters from the law-makers assume significance, as the Central Expert Committee (CEC) will be meeting on January 9 to take forward the compensation policy to a meaningful and logical conclusion.

Moneycontrol has seen copies of the letters.

"J&J has filed a suit in the Delhi High Court against the government to challenge the compensation process and deny its liability in compensating patients," said K J George, Minister of Large & Medium Scale Industries of Karnataka, in a letter dated January 7 to the Health Ministry.

"Following these deeply concerning developments, I request the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take all necessary actions to penalise the company for its wrongdoing and violation of laws and to ensure that justice is meted out to all the sufferers of the ASR hip implants," George said.

The Shiv Sena also wrote to the Minister on January 7.

AAP Lok Sabha member and physician Dharam Vira Gandhi said that less than 200 patients came forward for compensation, despite 4,700 surgeries undertaken with the faulty implants.

"The government must independently, using its ample powers, identify all the patients who have received the ASR implants in India. I urge that appropriate measures should be taken in favour of improving patient safety and preventing such misfortunes in the future," Gandhi said in his letter late December.

In the first-ever instance of compensation being set for implanting a substandard product in the country, the government approved a formula for compensating Indian patients who received faulty hip implants sold by J&J.

Currently, no specific legal provisions to provide compensation to patients exist.

The Central Expert Committee headed by RK Arya, Director at Sports Injury Centre, determined the quantum of compensation to be between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 1.22 crore per patient, depending on factors like age and disability.

J&J in a plea to the Delhi high court in December, blamed the government for the alleged lack of transparency and the failure to grant the company a hearing before the expert committee.

"The formula for compensation needs to be within a fully transparent and legal framework arrived at through due process, and only after proper hearing of the facts and positions of all parties. The outcome also needs to be within a legal framework which is applicable across the industry,” the company said.

First Published on Jan 8, 2019 02:30 pm
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