Currently, most knee and hip implants do not require regulation. They can be used in patients without first undergoing safety and efficiency reviews by the Food and Drug Administration. The Consumers Union is working to stop this and protect patients who fall victim to defective implants.
Most notably, the Consumers Union is interested in implementing warranties on medical devices to give manufactures more responsibility over the products they produce. Currently, if a patient encounters a malfunctioning medical product their insurance likely pays the costs for a second surgery, or it might come directly out of the patient's pockets.
The Consumers Union had previously pushed for the medical devices to be tested before they hit the market, but they reportedly received strong opposition from manufacturers who claim that their devices are safe and reliable. However, hip implants, especially those manufactured by DePuy, have been known to have an alarmingly high failure rate, according to national registry data. In fact, implant recalls were reviewed by the Consumers Union who claims that in the last ten years every major manufacturer of knee and hip devices had recalled defective products at some point.
By transferring more liability to the medical device companies, the Consumers Union believes that the quality of implants would likely improve as a result, and that patients wouldn’t be saddled with the costs of replacing a defective device. Furthermore, it would give patients and doctors clearer understanding regarding how long the implant is expected to last, which would indicate whether the device had failed or was simply dated.
Those in Nashville who have suffered damages as a result of a defective medical product should contact a lawyer to discuss the possibility of seeking compensation.
Source: Infozine, “Medical Device Makers Urged to Provide Warranties for Hip & Knee Implants,” Sep. 12, 2013