Wasden announces hip implant settlement

Wasden announces hip implant settlement

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BOISE — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced that he and 45 other state attorneys general have reached a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary DePuy.

The settlement resolves allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices — the ASR XL and the Pinnacle Ultamet.

The companies will pay $1.47 million to the state of Idaho. As directed by state law, the money will be deposited into the Consumer Protection Fund.

The attorneys general allege that DePuy engaged in unfair and deceptive practices while promoting the ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant devices by making misleading claims as to the longevity of metal-on-metal implants.

DePuy advertised that the ASR XL hip implant had a survivorship rate of 99.2 percent at three years when the National Joint Registry of England and Wales reported that seven percent of the implants needed revision within three years. Similarly, DePuy promoted the Pinnacle Ultamet had a survivorship rate of 99.8 percent at five years when the same registry reported a 2.2 percent 3-year-revision rate in 2009. The rate increased to a 4.28 percent 5-year-revision rate in 2012.

“Despite information to the contrary, the companies consistently overstated the performance of these artificial joints,” Wasden said in a statement. “That meant patients and surgeons were making extremely important treatment decisions with misleading data. Accuracy in health care is essential, and that’s what makes this behavior unacceptable.”

Some patients who required revision surgery to replace a failed ASR XL or Pinnacle Ultamet implant experienced persistent groin pain, allergic reactions, tissue necrosis and a buildup of metal ions in the blood. The ASR XL was recalled from the market in 2010. DePuy discontinued its sale of the Pinnacle Ultamet in 2013.

As part of the settlement, DePuy has agreed to reform how it markets and promotes hip implants.

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