Four Corners - Joint Reaction
The Articular Surface Replacement hip or ASR created by DePuy and marketed by the Johnson and Johnson company was sold to doctors and patients as a giant step forward in joint replacement. Its creators boasted it would give greater mobility and help patients get back on their feet quicker. Now reporter Quentin McDermott investigates claims that the metals hips are disintegrating and making patients sick.
Australians spend over $7 billion a year on medical devices that are supposed to make their lives better. In most cases they do. Pacemakers, hip and knee replacements can transform a patient's life. But who tests these devices to make sure they are safe? Now some doctors and policy makers say our regulation and testing regime is failing us and they are calling for greater scrutiny being directed to this essential industry.
It's now estimated that the problems associated with this type of hip, which relies on metal to metal technology, could affect hundreds, even thousands of people across Australia. The question is: how was this metal on metal technology approved? Who did the design and who tested it before it was used in human beings?
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