London, Oct 25 (IANS) Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson is facing a multi-million-pound legal claim after more than 10,000 patients in Britain were told their hip replacement operations needed to be reversed.
Many patients have been in excruciating pain, with some unable to walk since the operation. Now some of those affected are preparing a class action suit against Johnson & Johnson's orthopaedic branch, DePuy, in a case which could cost the company 350 million pounds.
Over 10,000 patients have been recalled to hospital to have their operations reviewed because components used to cushion and fix the artificial joint were causing tumours and depositing toxic metal in the blood, reports the Daily Mail.
Patients receiving the faulty ASR hip implant have experienced agonising pain as the metal fittings have worn away, releasing the metals chromium and cobalt into the blood, and causing inflammation and benign tumours to form.
Experts said although the metals are naturally present within the body, tests showed some patients who had received a DePuy implant had levels which were 100 times higher than normal.
In scientific tests, the metals have been linked with cancer, and more than 1,000 people have had their operations reversed to rid their bodies of faulty hip replacements.
A letter of claim will be sent to DePuy within weeks, according to solicitors Leigh Day and Co, who are representing 78 patients in a group action against the company. Of those, 34 have already undergone painful revision surgery to remove the implant.