The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

November 21, 2013

J&J to pay $2.5 billion to settle hip replacement suits

(Continued)

The company’s lawyers have denied that J&J acted improperly.

For decades nearly all orthopedic hips were coated with plastic or ceramic. But a decade ago many surgeons began to favor all-metal implants based on laboratory tests suggesting the devices would be more resistant to wear and reduce the chances of dislocation.

But recent data from patient registries show the devices actually fail at a higher rate than older implants. Last year a panel of government advisers said there are few, if any, cases where metal-on-metal hip implants should be recommended.

The pain and inflammation reported by patients implanted with the hips is usually caused by tiny metal particles that seep into the joint, damaging the surrounding tissue and bone.

DePuy said Tuesday it had already set aside funds to cover the settlement, which is not expected to affect future earnings.

The ASR recall is just one in an embarrassing string of J&J recalls stretching back to 2009, of products from contact lenses to prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines.

Tuesday’s settlement comes two weeks after another multibillion dollar J&J settlement involving the company’s psychiatric drugs. The company said earlier this month it would pay $2.2 billion to settle Department of Justice allegations that J&J sales representatives used kickbacks and illegal marketing techniques to promote Risperdal for unapproved uses in children, the elderly and the mentally disabled.

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