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Canadian Hip Implant Lawsuits Mount

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Canadian hip implant lawsuits are on the rise, with patients alleging that their devices break down and leave them in pain. No less than four class action lawsuits are underway against different hip implant device makers. Some of the lawsuits involve patients whose symptoms worsened after undergoing joint replacement surgery, said CBC News. In one case, not only did symptoms become worse, the corrective surgery left at least one patient with reduced quality of life. CBC News talked to Rob Desborough of Pictou, Nova Scotia, who said that one day, while gardening, his implant fell apart and the revision surgery—to remove and replace the defective device—was “difficult.” “Now I have some degree of pain and my lifestyle is quite a bit different than it was,” Desborough said, according to CBC News. CBC News said that none of the manufacturers it contacted would comment directly on the lawsuits. Meanwhile, Health Canada, the agency that regulates medical products in that country, said of the 33 manufacturers there with active licenses, 12 have implemented hip implant recalls in the past five years alone, said CBC News. Health Canada allows medical devices—such as hip implants—to receive approval through “fairly rudimentary, small studies” that take place “over a short period of time without a control group,” CBC.com said, wrote NewsInferno. Also, when medical devices undergo modification, Health Canada allows more latitude versus drug modification, which mandates a new clinical trial, noted NewsInferno. “The risk to people has been huge in relation to the benefit, particularly bearing in mind that there were effective products on the market that were working for decades before these new products came out. In this case, newer was not better,” one plaintiffs’ attorney told CBC.com, wrote NewsInferno. The fairly quick medical device approval process adopted by Health Canada may be related to the large number of recalls implemented by device makers in recent years, CBC.com said. As NewsInferno previously wrote, this November, an FDA-commissioned study of hip implants revealed that new versions, including metal-on-metal versions, provided no design benefits over older implants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study also revealed that patients receiving newer, all-metal implants were likelier than patients implanted with older generation devices to require repeat or revision surgery. All-metal devices were initially thought to be able to extend how long patients could use a device, said NewsInferno. Unexpectedly high failure rates, recalls, and adverse health reactions have affected thousands of global patients. A recent New York Times report described the broad issue, which involves an array of different devices, as “the most widespread medial implant failure in decades,” according to NewsInferno. Patients continue to suffer from painful reactions and

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complex revision surgery and then entire fiasco could cost taxpayers, insurers, and employers billions. The Times noted that before all-metal devices began making headlines, the devices accounted to nearly one-third of the 250,000 hip implant surgeries that are performed each year in the U.S., said NewsInferno.

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