According to a series of news agencies, Johnson & Johnson is under investigation by federal agencies looking into the company’s marketing practices.
The reports show that after the line of hip implants that has been recalled in 2010 may have been marketed in spite of the product’s potential design flaw. According to some of the reports, the company is believed to have been aware of the flaw before the product was marketed.
The probe, reports show, initiated with an “informal request” for more detailed information concerning the company’s ADR XL hip implants, which were part of 30 product recalls linked to the company in the past 3 and ½ years.
According to the news, the government asked for additional documents concerning procedures conducted by DePuy Synthes and other subsidiaries related to DePuy. Although the filing was not able to identify any specification concerning the details the government was interested in obtaining, however, reports show that this is not the first time that Johnson & Johnson has had problems with its artificial joints.
The company was asked to stop marketing the Corail Hip System, which was being used for two unapproved ends, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The reports show that this request happened just days before the company issued a recall for all units of the ASR systems. News agencies have also reported that in 2007, J&J was ordered to pay $84.7 million in fines after agreeing to a settlement concerning alleged kickbacks. According to the Justice Department, the company and other top U.S. makers of replacement hips and knee joints were being accused of having special agreements with surgeons in order to keep them from using products other than the joint replacements they produced.
In August of 2010, two types of artificial joint systems were recalled by J&J, the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which have been linked to unexpected high rates of failure in patients who had received the implants abroad as well as in the United States.
Patients reportedly suffered pain and difficulty walking as a result of the defective replacement. Tiny components of the all-metal implants may also have failed by flaking off inside of the patients’ bodies, which resulted in problems with the immune systems of these patients.
Hearings for the first lawsuit of over 10,000 filed against J&J has just come to an end in Los Angeles.
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