Though widely hailed as breakthrough medical devices when they first came onto the market, experts now recommend that patients avoid them. The onslaught of problems (which seems to span all metal hip implants, regardless of manufacturer) is one reason that Johnson & Johnson has been phasing out their DePuy ASR implants. Of course, the phase-out allows a manufacturer to retire a device gracefully, despite the fact that a full-blown hip implant recall is warranted in these cases.
What did Johnson & Johnson (DePuy) Do Wrong To Cause Hip Implant Injuries?
As the authors of the British Medical Journal, The Lancet, said, the problems with metal hip implants that surgeons have discovered, could have been determined with adequate pre-market studies and regulation. If Johnson & Johnson did their homework, there would be a lot fewer people with these hip implant problems. The reality, though, is that a medical device manufacturer always makes more money by sending a defective device to the market than they do by canceling a project.
In 2009, the FDA told Johnson & Johnson that it was rejecting the DePuy ASR hip resurfacing system. That letter went one step further by telling Johnson & Johnson that all the DePuy metal-on-metal implants were suspect because of metal poisoning problems (See Hip Device Phaseout Followed FDA Data Request, New York Times). Regardless, these implants are still being implanted into patients.