Monday, February 4, 2013
In continuing coverage on claims alleging Johnson & Johnson's DePuy unit failed to warn consumers that its ASR hip implants were defective, Bloomberg News (2/2, Possley, Voreacos, Feeley) reported that toxicologist Robert Harrison told jurors Friday in a Los Angeles state court that DePuy "failed to consider the harmful effects of chromium and cobalt debris in designing the 93,000 all-metal hip implants" that were later recalled. He noted that according to the California Poison Control System, "cobalt levels above 7 micrograms per liter are harmful." Within three years of receiving his hip implant, the plaintiff, Loren Kransky, had a cobalt level in his blood stream that was "almost eight times the acceptable level." In contrast, the FDA in a Jan. 17 advisory said it "does not have enough scientific data to specify the concentration of metal ions in a patient's body or blood necessary to produce adverse systemic effects."Reuters (2/2, Beasley) added that Kransky's Lawyers contend that DuPuy already knew the ASR hip implant had several defects, including the risk for metal poisoning from cobalt and chromium debris, before it launched the metal-on-metal devices on the US market in 2004. In addition, Reuters quoted Harrison, who was asked for his opinion during the hearing, as saying that after reviewing Kransky's medical file, he "concluded that his hip failed because of the toxic exposure."