The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused interim relief to multinational medical devices and pharmaceuticals manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, which had challenged the Indian government’s compensation formula for patients who received faulty hip implants, PTI reported.
The court said the petition was neither urgent nor important. “Some matters are important and some are urgent,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said. “Unfortunately, this does not fall under either of the two categories.” The judge also said that it would be inappropriate to pass any orders in the matter as the Supreme Court was hearing a different case related to the compensation.
“Further consideration of the petition is deferred to await outcome of the proceedings in the Supreme Court,” the judge said, posting the matter for further hearing on February 26.
The pharma major has sought the quashing of the Centre’s formula, according to which patients will get compensations between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 1.23 crore depending on their age and the level of disability of the person.
The hip implant devices, known as DePuy ASR, were manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics Inc, a fully-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The patients who got the implants had to undergo revision surgeries due to severe pain in their hip, inability to walk, destruction of bone and deposition of harmful metal debris of the implant inside body tissue.
Last week, a group of patients told the government that its formula for determining compensation due to them was determined “without due consultations” with stakeholders. They claimed that the formula devised by the ministry has “multiple gaps” and is “riddled with ambiguities”. They urged the government to hear their views in order to arrive at a “just and fair” formula.
The patients had in October decided not to pursue their claims for compensation, questioning the credibility of the panel the government had appointed last year to fix compensation. The patients had also sought Union Health Minister JP Nadda’s intervention, writing to him on October 15 and October 20, and had questioned Johnson & Johnson’s involvement in the process.
277 revision surgeries performed, says minister
On Tuesday, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha that 277 revision surgeries were performed due to the faulty implants. The Winter Session of Parliament began on Tuesday.
“As per the information available with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, 277 revision surgeries were undertaken because of disability due to faulty Articular Surface Replacement hip implants manufactured by M/s DePuy International Limited, UK, (now M/s Johnson & Johnson Pvt Ltd),” Choubey said in response to a question on whether the faulty implants had led to deaths.