NEW DELHI: Patients who have been offered compensations ranging from Rs 23 lakh to Rs 1.2 crore by Johnson and Johnson due to faulty hip implants, as per a formula decided by a Union health ministry committee, have rejected the offer outright. Members of Hip Implants Support Group, in a letter to the government, said that the formula was full of ambiguities and discrepancies and had been determined without consulting the patients. They also said that the formula was in the interest of the US device maker rather than patients who had lost their lives or suffered various degrees of complications.
The government, in the first such instance, had last week directed a company to compensate patients and their nearest kin for death or disability caused by a medical device. Nearly 4,000 patients in India had got two types of faulty implants by DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Many countries made a big hue and cry due to the toxic build-up it caused in patients, before they were recalled in India in 2010.
Vijay Vojhala, a patient who has been at the forefront of getting a government investigation carried out in the case, was the lead signatory in the letter.“I am hopeful that the government will listen to the patients’ side of the story and have a relook at the formula at least now,” he told this newspaper. “As you can appreciate, the formula and the outcomes of the compensation process will have a bearing on the well-being of patients,” the letter read.
“We have repeatedly said that transparency in the proceedings of the committees entrusted to carry out the compensation and in the implementation of the compensation mechanism is paramount.”The support group also stressed that the compensation committee had been “compounding the injustice of many years” and had aggravated them by completely sidelining patients and reducing them to mere spectators even in the government-led process of compensating victims.
Nearly 4,000 affected
Nearly 4,000 patients in India had got two types of faulty implants by DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.