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Kennedy Hodges L.L.P.

Studies to investigate recalled hip implants delayed

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Two years after DePuy Orthopaedics issued a recall for its ASR metal-on-metal hip implant system the company has yet to complete a study to pinpoint the cause of the defective hip implants.

Plenty of evidence has shown that DePuy's hip implants have a higher than normal failure rate, and in fact, one type of hip implant has a failure rate of nearly 50% at six years.

In 2011, the FDA ordered implant manufacturers to perform studies on the devices and examine the rates of revision surgery and patient's blood metal levels. Recommendations included collecting and studying patient data from the time of implantation up to eight years afterwards.

Hip studies fraught by delays

It seems as though it will be a long time before the public will know any results from these studies. Reports from 2012 indicate that the FDA and the manufacturers are unable to agree on study protocols for not even half of the devices.

Also, the FDA states that just 24 of the 104 metal-on-metal hip products were marked as having a study pending. The remaining products are marked "Plan Pending" or "Plan Overdue."

Manufacturers hesitant to reveal negative information about their products

One big issue at hand is that each implant maker is allowed to conduct their own independent study. This will no doubt affect the ability to identify and compare common issues among the products.

Also, these studies could likely reveal negative information about these products and manufacturers are likely to drag their feet in conducting the studies because they don't want to publish this information. This is a huge disservice to the thousands of patients who have suffered because of defective hip implants.

If you received a hip implant in the past five years and you are unsure if you received a DePuy implant you can contact our office to speak to our attorneys free of charge about your case. Contact us toll-free at: 1-877-342-2020.

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