Again & Again: Johnson & Johnson Disregards Patient Safety

As the hip implant and transvaginal mesh litigation against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson moves forward more is discovered about how the companies conducted their medical device business.

Just days after my post on March 21, 2012, Business as Usual: Johnson & Johnson Puts Profits over Patient Safety, it is now being reported that Johnson & Johnson executives decided to sell off and phase out its inventory of metal-on-metal hip implants just weeks before the FDA requested additional safety data regarding the metal-on-metal hip implants.

Essentially, a year before the ASR hip implant recall, Johnson & Johnson knew the following:

  • Patients who received the Johnson & Johnson (DePuy) metal-on-metal hip implant had high concentrations of chromium and cobalt.
  • The Johnson & Johnson (DePuy) metal-on-metal hip implant was “performing poorly” in Europe.
  • The Johnson & Johnson (DePuy) metal-on-metal hip implant had high failure rates.
  • The study conducted by Johnson & Johnson (DePuy) and submitted to the FDA had problems according to the FDA.

Despite having this knowledge, Johnson & Johnson put its profits over patient safety by not recalling the metal-on-metal hip or it companion device, the ASR metal on metal hip. Instead, the company instituted a plan to sell its inventory and then phase out the metal-on-metal hip implant. This means that while knowing patients were at risk, Johnson & Johnson continued to market and sell the metal-on-metal hip implant. As in my last post, Johnson & Johnson’s continues to insist that it acted appropriately in recalling the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant. It looks as if a jury will decide if Johnson & Johnson did?