British newspaper, The Telegraph, reveals that several MPs (members of the British Parliament) are calling for criminal investigations into the marketing and sales of the DePuy ASR hip implant to British patients. In the report, the British MPs claim that DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, sold what it knew to be a potentially toxic and dangerous implant to British patients for at least three years after knowing there were problems with the implant.
The article suggests that DePuy’s own testing revealed that the metal on metal hip implant had a failure rate which was significantly higher than other models of hip implants, and that those test were not made available to British regulators or the public. Instead, the DePuy ASR Hip continued to be marketed to British patients, which are now being replaced in a revision surgery because they are suspected of causing blood poisoning. The article also states that 10,000 British patients were fitted with the metal on metal hip implants, which are believed to wear down and deposit toxic metal material into the patients bloodstream.
The DePuy ASR Hip was launched in England in 2003 and continued being marketed until 2010, despite concerns being raised by a high profile British surgeon as early as 2006. When asked to comment on the issue by The Telegraph, a spokesman for DePuy said that the company acted in the best interest of the patients and voluntarily recalled the ASR Hip.