Of the 93,000 individuals affected by the August 2010 DePuy ASR recall, an estimated 5,500 are Australians.  In addition to the growing number of lawsuits filed in the United States, hundreds of Australians are joining class action lawsuits against DePuy Orthopeadics and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson.  Just as lawsuits over the defective DePuy ASR hip implants mount worldwide, so is the intensity of media coverage.  Tonight, Four Corners, an Australian television show, is airing a program entitled “Joint Reaction,” which chronicles the events leading up to and the aftermath of the DePuy ASR catastrophe.  In making its case against the manufacturer, the investigative journalists at Four Corners will present evidence on cobalt poisoning and its toxic effects, which include blindness, deafness, seizures, cognitive problems and heart failure.

Typically, medical devices must be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (“TGA”) for use in Australia.  However, the DePuy ASR implants were not separately tested by the TGA, which has led to calls for legislative reforms in Australia.  Given that the similarities of what is happening abroad parallel much of what is taking place in the U.S., one cannot help but ask whether the fallout from the DePuy ASR recall has created a global epidemic?

To view a transcript of Four Corners:  “Joint Reaction,” click here.

Published May 16, 2011 by