The government has been asked by the Supreme Court to respond to a plea alleging 15,820 persons have suffered due to faulty hip implants supplied by a multinational company. The petition filed by a victim's family sought directions to the centre to advertise across India about the recall of the faulty implants; trace affected patients; and tough action against officials, who issued certificate to Johnson and Johnson for selling the faulty product without any clinical trial.
The plea by Arun Kumar Goenka has also asked for a centre-appointed Special Investigations Team (SIT) comprising senior doctors and police officers to help patients affected by faulty implants.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the expert panel report to be submitted to the court.
The centre had constituted a five-member committee to determine the quantum of compensation to be given to patients who have faulty hip implants, manufactured by DePuy International, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.
The committee was formed after an expert panel formed by the Union Health Ministry suggested that the company pay compensation of around Rs 20 lakh each to the affected patients, but some of them questioned the panel's recommendation of the paltry amount, saying it was like "rubbing salt into their wounds".
In an order to the pharma giant, the health ministry had said the company be made "liable" to pay adequate compensation based on severity of pain, the resultant disability sufferings (both mental and physical) and the loss of wages each of the patients who had received articular surface replacement (ASR) incurred.
The ministry had also asked Johnson and Johnson to trace the remaining patients who received ASR but have not registered with the helpline.
The panel, in its report, had also said the pharma company "suppressed" facts on the harm of surgeries conducted on patients in India using "faulty" hip replacement systems.