September 7, 2018 / 5:40 AM / 17 days ago

J&J to work with India on compensation for recalled hip implants

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson (J&J) (JNJ.N) said it would work with the Indian government to compensate patients who had suffered from hip implants that were recalled by the U.S. healthcare firm eight years ago after data showed high failure rates.

Security guards stand outside the office of Johnson & Johnson in Mumbai, India, August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

This follows last week’s recommendation from a government panel that J&J pay at least 2 million rupees ($27,812) to each patient for the faulty ASR hip implant. The federal government has asked states to help patients get relief soon.

About 93,000 people worldwide received ASR implants which were recalled in 2010. The Indian panel said in its report that about 4,700 of those people were in India.

Given the recent committee report, “we are seeking to work with the Indian government to develop an appropriate process for providing further support and compensation for patients in need”, a J&J spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters, adding the firm was committed to support all ASR patients in India.

Sushobhan Dasgupta, a senior J&J executive in India, has, however, told Indian newspaper Mint that the company “will not pay people who had an ASR implant if they are doing well”.

The company is not okay with the methodology used by the Indian panel, Dasgupta told the paper in an interview here published on Friday. The report has "factual inaccuracies" and "the conclusions could also be inaccurate", he added.

In 2013, J&J agreed to pay reut.rs/I20AZB nearly $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits from patients in the United States who said they were injured by the implants.

In India, the company paid $2 million to patients for repeat surgeries and about $250,000 in related diagnostic costs under its ASR reimbursement programme, but the government panel has criticised J&J for offering no compensation.

Metal hip implant systems such as ASR were designed to be more durable than a traditional metal-on-plastic, ball-and-socket design. But many Indian patients suffered adverse reactions to the implant, the panel said.

J&J entered the Indian market in 1947 when it started selling its now-ubiquitous baby powder. It has in recent years faced issues such as price caps on medical devices.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra, Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Himani Sarkar

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