A central expert committee formed by the government will meet on Tuesday to evaluate cases of the first 15 patients with Johnson & Johnson’s faulty hip implants who have approached the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization for financial compensation, reported Mint.
The five-member expert committee was set up on September 11 to determine the quantum of compensation to be given to patients who have faulty hip implants, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary DePuy International. Dr RK Arya, the director of Safdarjung Hospital’s sports injury centre is heading the committee.
“In their first meeting, the experts will design a protocol that will be adopted to decide on compensation for the affected patients,” an unidentified senior health ministry official said. “Based on the documents submitted by them [15 patients], they will be called and referred to government hospitals to examine the extent of the damage.”
An unidentified company spokesperson said they were cooperating with the government to develop a clear process to provide support and compensation to the patients. “We are also ramping up our helpline and adding additional responses to support patients.”
The government has also asked principal and health secretaries to form state-level committees to examine the details of affected patients and determine the quantum of compensation for those who had to undergo corrective surgery.
The expert panel said the state-level committees would evaluate patients’ claims about disability and suffering caused by the devices. The central committee will decide total compensation on the basis of the base amount and loss of wages.
“The panels should be formed to enable hassle-free access to patients so that they can easily approach state-level committees in respective states,” the health ministry said in a letter, a copy of which Mint has verified.
According to a report by an expert committee set up by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in February 2017, over 3,600 patients with faulty implants are now untraceable. At least four people died after undergoing surgery. The company itself has admitted that there were 121 “serious adverse events” related to the surgeries in India between January 2014 and June 2017. The government said it was the company’s responsibility to compensate all patients who reported adverse reactions.