Marketed as more durable than existing implants, the metal-on-metal hip replacement systems ended up releasing microscopic amounts of metal ions, which led to bone damage and tissue death from metallosis (metal poisoning). More than 11,000 lawsuits are still pending in the US even as more are being filed, according to Drugwatch, a US-based not for profit Patient-enabling group. Close to 4,700 people received the faulty implant in India before the recall, but only 1,080 have been tracked. Of them, only 275 underwent revision surgeries, while the others are being monitored for side effects. With the manufacturer, orthopaedic surgeons and hospitals making little effort to reach out to them, more than 3,600 patients have slipped through the cracks and continue to live in pain.
Even as that happens, the government must make sharing information on drug and device recalls transparent and institutionalise adverse drug reaction reporting to ensure patients in India are empowered and treated on par with those elsewhere.
First Published: Aug 25, 2018 20:01 IST
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