DePuy Places Blame on Media and FDA for the Hip Replacement Recall

Thousands have been affected when DePuy, an orthopedic device manufacturer, recalled two of their hip replacement implants ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System. Ninety-three units of these devices were sold worldwide and data showed that they have inherent flaws that make for 12-13 percent of recipients in need of a revision surgery. Some of the symptoms reported were pain, swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking and metal poisoning.

As more updates are revealed in the aftermath of the DePuy hip replacement recall, more and more questions arise like, Why didn’t the company act more quickly when it knew there was a problem? Why didn't the recall occur sooner? In October 2010, a conference was held between DePuy president, David Floyd, and orthopedists' who have performed hip replacement procedures using the DePuy implants. In response to a question asking why the recall happened in August rather than in March when DePuy discontinued the products, President Floyd had this to say:

There are regulations, including those of the FDA, that govern our actions in these situations. Although [the ASR hip replacement system] had been discontinued, there were still products on the shelves in various countries around the world. So recall is a required method of retrieving that product and ensuring it does not get implanted. Once we notified the regulators, which we were obligated to do [under the Safe Medical Device Act and related federal regulations] they publicly post the information, often very quickly. When that happens, the media pick it up, often immediately, and then broadly report it.”

It was a telling statement that expressed DePuy's hopes that simply discontinuing the products would be enough and the problem would disappear. But that was unlikely. In turn, DePuy blames the media and the FDA for their incompetence.

DePuy even went on to say that they were using resources such as foreign joint registries to evaluate their products. However, the Australian National Joint Registry have begun giving notices to the company about the products' defects in 2006. The company issued the global recall in 2010.

If you have been affected by the recall and would want to learn more about the case, feel free to visit the DePuy hip replacement website.