Johnson & Johnson is treating victims of its Faulty Hip Implants as Beggars

Hip Implant Patients Support Group (HIPS) members are losing hope on Government Mediation

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New Delhi: The group picture is of victims whose lives have completely been spoilt by faulty implants of Johnson &Johnson. They have been crippled for life and no amount of money would be enough to compensate for the irreparable damage. The ruthless and unseemly attitude of the representatives of Johnson & Johnson is like rubbing salt on their wounds. The compensation that they are offering speaks volume about their insensitivity.

They had gathered in Delhi previous month to meet government instituted Central Expert Committee mooting compensation for them but the meeting did not instil much hope in them. They are losing hope on government mediation and thinking of legal recourse.

Johnson and Johnson is insisting on giving not more than Rs 20 lakh, which is a pittance compared to the irreparable damage inflicted upon them by its faulty hip implants.

The company of course is ready to give over one crore of rupees but to only those of them who are in a vegetative state and as good as dead. Surprisingly, those who have died due to faulty hip transplant would merit no compensation at all. Many from the group complained that Company representatives are behaving with them as if they are beggars. Even members of Central Expert Committee expressed their limitations. They said only legal recourse would bring them justice. They complained that they have to run from pillar to post to get disability certificate.

The first ever meeting happened after months and months of letters and demands. In the mean time, Hip Implant Patients Support Group (HIPS) has said the central government must uphold J&J Hip Implant Victims Rights over Corporate Greed. Compensation formula must address nearly 15 years of pain and suffering of patients. They have also demanded Compensation must be accompanied by prosecution and accountability of J&J.

Nearly 40 victims and family members of MNC Johnson & Johnson’s ASR hip implants met with the Central Expert Committee in New Delhi. It is not fully known yet, how many people became victims of faulty hip implants. Around a thousand victims out of over 4 thousand people who underwent hip replacement with faulty implant of Johnson & Johnson have formed a support group named Hip Implant Patients Support Group (HIPS). Manoj Kumar Sangabattula was the youngest recipient of faulty ASR implant in the group. He got the implant when he was 20 years.   Those who came narrated their horrifying diurnal life. ‘We want that true extent of suffering and devastation of our lives caused by J&J’s ASR hip implants should be understood and duly compensated’ said Renu Seth of Delhi.

In August 2018, the report of the Agarwal Committee set up by the government was released which recommended compensation for ASR hip implant victims. Subsequently, a Central Expert Committee headed by Dr. R.K. Arya was convened in October 2018 to start the compensation process. The compensation formula recently approved by the government was met with serious concerns from patients as it had many deficiencies, exclusions and lacunae. The patients placed shared their views regarding the compensation formula, the process and related issues at this much delayed meeting with the Central Expert Committee.

Many of them are already in the Consumer Court or in other forums demanding justice from J&J and the government. All who got this faulty implant have been crippled for life. Even revision surgery is not much of a help.

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