The Advanced Medical Technology Association, an American medical device trade association, on Tuesday criticised the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for its investigation into lax regulations surrounding medical devices.
The consortium compiled and released an International Medical Devices Database after its investigation showed that less than 20% countries in the world have public online databases on safety alerts and recall information about medical devices. The reports show how devices such as coronary stents, pacemakers, breast and knee implants, pelvic meshes and intrauterine devices are advertised, sold and surgically implanted under lax regulatory systems, putting patients at risk of injury or death.
AdvaMed claimed the consortium highlighted the stories of only a few patients who had experienced problems with medical devices. “Instead of a comprehensive look at both the challenges and the achievements of an industry that touches almost every human life, these stories counterfeit the life-changing and life-saving solutions delivered to billions of people worldwide,” the association said in a statement.
It added: “We should never discount any patient’s experience. But by magnifying the stories of only a few individuals, we overlook the overwhelmingly positive experiences of millions of others.”
The association claimed it takes all reports about impact on patients seriously. “Though the medical community can never completely eliminate risk, we always strive to improve our technologies and care delivery,” it added.
During a year-long investigation, the consortium and its media partners in 36 countries, including The Indian Express, scrutinised all devices used in medical procedures. More than 500 adverse events related to medical devices have been reported in India in 2018, the newspaper reported on Monday.