DePuy hip replacement recalls pushed Johnson & Johnson's CEO to resign in April 2011. William Weldon, who has served as top executive of Johnson & Johnson for nearly ten years, decided to step down in the midst of widespread consumer injury. However, he will remain chairman of the company's board of directors. On a similar note, Johnson & Johnson, principal holding firm of the maker of the DePuy ASR hip replacement, is one of five artificial hip and knee manufacturers to cut back on payouts to surgeons in exchange for exclusive use of their products, Bloomberg News reports.
There are around 93,000 recipients of the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System worldwide. After the release of data presenting defectiveness in one out of eight patients to whom they were implanted, the two devices were pulled back.
* In 2007, $198 million paid out to 939 orthopedic surgeons.
* In 2008, $119 million paid out to 568 surgeons, plus $109 million in royalty buyouts from Zimmer Holdings Inc.
DePuy took the implants out from the Australian market in December 2009. It also announced a global recall in August 2010, approximately eight months after recalling them in Australia. Between 2008 and the time the recall was issued, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have received hundreds of complaints from ASR recipients, many of whom needed to have a second hip replacement surgery.
Transporting of microscopic metal parts into the body due to metal components rubbing against each other is one effect of design problems with metal-on-metal hip implant devices, like the DePuy. The metal particles shed from metal-on-metal hip replacement implants may increase the amount of some metals in the blood, such as chromium and cobalt. This may lead to metallosis, a type of blood poisoning, and genotoxicity, which is genetic damage. Cancer and tumor may also be developed due to the presence of chromium and cobalt in the blood.
'Many people could have avoided considerable pain, suffering and diminished quality of life if the company had acted in a responsible manner to known problems with these devices,' as stated by an Australian legislative panel. Affected patients have been filing a hip replacement lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.