Still Surprised After All These Years: Profits over Patients
You would think after more than a decade of litigating mass tort cases against drug and device manufactures that the testimony of Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy engineers would not shock me. But it still does!
Testimony from the on-going trial against DePuy Orthopedics, a Johnson & Johnson company, supports thousands of plaintiffs’ claims that the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant was defectively designed and the company knew of its extremely high failure rates but marketed the hip implant anyway.
- Johnson’s & Johnson’s DePuy bioengineer, James Anderson, expressed disappointment that his research on the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant’s failure rate ended with no change to the actual implants.
- Anderson’s research supported the conclusion that small improvements to the design of the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant could mean large improvements for hip implant patients.
- Plaintiff’s expert witness testified that the ASR metal-on-metal hip implants had a high failure rate due to several design defects.
- Testimony supports Johnson & Johnson’s ASR metal-on-metal hip implants failed at rates between 27% and 40%.
- Johnson’s & Johnson’s DePuy engineer, Graham Isaac, agreed that Johnson & Johnson’s ASR metal-on-metal hip implants were recalled because of safety issues not because the company was acting prudently.
Over the years and after many litigated cases, I would have hoped that the drug and device manufacturers would have learned their lesson. Clearly, that is not the case.