Patients affected by multinational medical devices major Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) ‘faulty’ ASR hip implants finally have reason to cheer as the health ministry has approved the expert committee’s formula for compensation.
The expert committee has proposed that age and risk factor from the disability caused will be considered for compensation, over and above the base amount. The patients will also be given Rs 1 million for non-pecuniary damages.
An expert committee was constituted by the ministry under the chairmanship of Arun Kumar Agarwal, former dean and professor of ENT, Maulana Azad Medical College (New Delhi), to examine the issues related to faulty ASR hip implants.
The committee, after detailed examination of the issue, submitted its report, along with its final recommendation. The report was accepted by the Centre.
According to the government’s decision, the base will be multiplied by the score given for the risk and age factor, divided by 99.37, with Rs 1 million added to it. Disability caused has been put in four slabs and compensation amount may vary from Rs 3 million to over Rs 12 million.
The hip implants manufactured by J&J’s wholly-owned subsidiary DePuy International were found to be faulty, and several instances of revision surgeries were reported in India and across the globe.
This comes at a time when J&J has chalked out a plan to provide compensation to these patients in India.
The new programme to be introduced by the company proposes to support patients who were implanted in India with its ASR hip implant between June 2004 and August 2010 and provide reimbursement, if the revision surgery and tests took place within 15 years from the date of the primary hip replacement surgery. Close to 4,700 surgeries using these implants were done in the country. Subsequently, these implants were withdrawn.
At first, the committee on the matter had recommended compensation to affected patients. The base compensation was recommended to be Rs 2 million, with an amount in excess to be based on the disability caused.
The government had written to DePuy Medical asking them to provide compensation till 2025.
The Committee that submitted its report to the health ministry had noted that the company has been negligent and therefore should compensate patients. This committee was set up in 2017 by the health ministry to review the matter.
In February this year, the committee submitted its report. These complaints could be dated prior to 2010.