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On June 27-28, the Food and Drug Administration will be asking an advisory panel of experts to take a closer look at metal-on-metal hip implants, according to a news release. Though the FDA metal hip implant investigation is nothing new, it signals that the agency may be ready to subject the devices to stricter scrutiny.
The investigation originally made the news in August of 2010, when DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, recalled 93,000 XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hips. The device was experiencing a 13% failure rate.
Following up on that recall, the FDA ordered manufacturers to collect more post-implant safety data, according to the agency press release. Since then, the FDA has been investigating the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants and trying to decide if they should undergo more rigorous testing and premarket review.
Evidence suggests that such review may be necessary. A recent study from the National Joint Registry of English and Wales found that 6% of people with the implants needed additional surgery, reports Reuters. This is high when compared to the 1.7 to 2.4% rate found in individuals with ceramic or plastic hips.
As the FDA's metal hip investigation continues, individuals with such a device will learn more about their legal fate. A number of defective product lawsuits have already been filed, but expert opinion and more data can make those suits stronger. Such individuals may therefore want to keep an eye on the FDA metal hip investigation and keep in touch with a products liability attorney.