Johnson & Johnson Recalls More Metal Hip Implants

February 18, 2013

Johnson & Johnson, the subject of thousands of lawsuits stemming from the 2010 recall of its ASR all-metal hip implants, last month recalled a second type of metal hip component that it sold outside of the United States.

J&J’s DePuy unit told doctors in January that the Adept modular heads, a component used with its Adept metal-on-metal hip replacement device, should not be used after data showed that the devices were failing at a higher than expected rate, according to an emailed statement.

The email said British data showed that the Adept implants needed to be replaced in about 12 percent of patients after seven years. An Australian patient registry showed a revision rate of 7 percent after three years.

The company said it sold around 7,500 of the hip components between 2004 to September 2011. They were sold in 21 countries, but not in the United States.

In August 2010, J&J recalled two types of its ASR metal-on-metal hip implants after they were also linked to high failure rates.

Some 93,000 of the ASR hips were sold prior to the recall, which has generated more than 10,000 lawsuits. The first suit, brought by a retired Montana prison guard who says the hip caused metal poisoning, is currently being heard in a Los Angeles Superior Court.

J&J has set aside more than $3 billion to cover costs for the ASR hip recall. The company over the past couple of years has also had to recall over-the-counter drugs, contact lenses, heart devices, such as stents, and insulin pump cartridges.

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