Johnson & Johnson’s (“J&J”) company credo may state that they put patients first, but their actions during the DePuy ASR hip recall suggest that they value profit far more.

“We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services,” the credo opens. Yet J&J and its subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics seemed to have strayed from this motto in their actions surrounding the DePuy ASR hip recall. An internal email sent to three top DePuy executives in August 2009 revealed that they knew about the hip implants’ defects a year before the recall was issued. The email informed DePuy executives that the FDA reviewed company studies and clinical data and determined that the ASR hip implants had early failure rates that were unacceptably high.

As early as 2007, DePuy was notified about the high failure rates of its ASR hip implants by the Australian National Joint Replacement Registry. In December 2009, DePuy withdrew the ASR hip replacement device from the Australian market. Despite knowledge of problems with the defective device, the company continued to market the ASR hip implants in other countries.

DePuy also paid orthopedic surgeons millions to endorse their devices. The company paid one of the main designers and developers of the ASR hip implant, Dr. Thomas Schmalzried, more than $3 million “in royalty income for intellectual property and/or product development” in 2009 and 2010. According to Bloomberg News, Dr. Schmalzried also attended DePuy meetings in support of the ASR hip implant and actively promoted the device to his peers. Though other attendees at these meetings raised concerns about metal debris shedding from the implants, severe complications and high failure rates associated with the ASR hips, the well compensated doctor assured them that the ASR hip implants were not only safe, but the best artificial hips on the market.

The ASR hip recall of 2010 withdrew 93,000 hip implants from the market. Thousands of ASR hip implant recipients have suffered from complications or underwent expensive and painful revision surgery. But it seemed that J&J was always more concerned with the last goal in its company credo: “Business must make a sound profit.”

If you were a victim of the DePuy ASR hip recall and experienced problems such as pain, infection, metallosis, or had to undergo revision surgery to have the device removed, contact a hip recall lawyer to learn how to protect your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Call today for a free case review: (877) 779-1414.

Published September 13, 2012 by