As a Texas Metal on Metal hip attorney and medical doctor I am providing this important update to the folks injured by a defective metal hip implant. According to Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), it will stop selling metal-on-metal and ceramic-on-metal hip replacements because of a lower demand for the devices.This decision announcement was made in May 2013.
Metal liners in the Ultamet Metal-on-Metal Articulation and the Complete Ceramic-on-Metal Acetabular Hip System will no longer be available worldwide after August 31. J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit will stop selling related products through 2014 to simplify and streamline its offerings.
Metal on Metal Hip Replacement Sales
Metal-on-metal hip sales in the U.S. and Europe crashed from 20 percent of the market in 2007 to less than 2 percent in 2012 as doctors and patients questioned their safety.
The federal U.S. regulators earlier this year requested extensive study of all metal-on-metal hips. According to J&J, the decision to stop selling the hips isn’t related to safety or effectiveness, and it isn’t a recall. This decision comes too late for some plaintiffs who allege injuries from their metal hip implants and metallosis.
DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implants Still on the Market
J&J will still market the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, one of the most widely used systems for hip replacement. It will also sell a wide range of liners and cups made with other materials, including ceramic and medical-grade plastics.
J&J recalled its DePuy line of ASR metal-on-metal hips, in August 2010. The company is exposed to more than 10,000 state and federal lawsuits over the ASR products. J&J lost the first trial on March 8, when a Los Angeles jury ruled the ASR was defectively designed.
Ultamet was approved in 2000 through the controversial less-extensive 510(k) process, which allows manufacturers to sell their new devices as long as they are similar to the products already on the market.
The 510(k) process allowed manufacturers to release their devices without rigorous testing and so the defective devices were not adequately tested before implantation.
The Food and Drug Administration in January said it wants hip replacement products that reached the market through the 510(k) process to undergo more rigorous study typically required for entirely new devices.
DePuy ASR Verdicts
Earlier this year, a California state court jury awarded $8.3 million in damages and a second trial held in Illinois state court resulted in a defense verdict for the manufacturer. The outcome of these bellwether trials are designed to facilitate settlement negotiations. If a DePuy ASR settlement is not reached, then these cases will be remanded back to the original U.S. District Courts for individual trials.