Monday, May 20, 2013

J&J unit ending production of all-metal replacement hips.

The New York Times (5/17, B2, Meier, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) reports Johnson & Johnson’s orthopedic unit, DePuy Orthopaedics, announced Thursday “that it was phasing out production of all-metal replacement hips, a move reflecting an industrywide trend to abandon the once widely used implants because of high early failure rates.” The company previously recalled “an all-metal model known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R.” in 2010 because it deteriorated only a few years after it was implanted. J&J is now facing “a wave of lawsuits from patients who say they were injured when all-metal implants sold by the company failed. It faces over 10,000 cases related to the A.S.R. and 3,300 cases related to the all-metal Pinnacle, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
        Bloomberg News (5/17, Cortez) notes that “metal liners in the Ultamet Metal-on-Metal Articulation and the Complete Ceramic-on-Metal Acetabular Hip System will no longer be available worldwide after Aug. 31, the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company said today in an e-mail.” The company will continue to “market the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, one of the most widely used systems for hip replacement.” The “decision to stop selling the products was unrelated to the 2010 recall of J&J’s ASR metal-on-metal hips,” according to Mindy Tinsley, a spokeswoman for J&J’s DePuy unit

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