The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday approved compensations between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 1.23 crore for patients who received faulty hip implants from Johnson & Johnson before August 2010. The compensation to be paid will depend on the age and the level of disability of the person, the Hindustan Times reported.
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 month, patients fitted with these implants decided not to pursue their claims for compensation. In a letter to Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda, the patients questioned the credibility of the panel the government had appointed in 2017 to fix the compensation amount.
The Supreme Court had last month asked the Centre to respond to a public interest litigation alleging that more than 15,820 persons have been fitted with the faulty hip implants. The court also directed the government to submit the report of the expert committee looking into the matter.
The government’s decision on Thursday was based on the recommendations of the panel. “This is the highest ever compensation amount in Indian history,” Drug Controller General of India Dr S Eswara Reddy said. “We have been working on it for almost a year to ensure patients get the maximum benefit. And the company [Johnson & Johnson] has given us in writing that they will pay the entire amount.”