Thursday, September 22, 2011
Are Zimmer Hip Lawsuits Linked to 510(k) Overhaul?
Based on the number of patients who have had complaints about serious problems and complications associated with their medical devices – many patients have even filed a Zimmer lawsuit and other makers of orthopedic and joint replacement devices after experiencing more severe complications, some of which necessitated hip revision surgery – it appears as though this expedited approval process for some medical devices is not appropriate or safe for consumers.
The 510(k) approval process is beneficial in many ways to major pharmaceuticals companies and orthopedics device manufacturers. It helps them get new products out on the market with minimal waiting or innovation. These cash cows can pull in millions of dollars while being only marginally different from a product that is already on the market, often one manufactured by the same company, that is also making significant amounts of money.
The problem for consumers with this approval process is that without rigorous testing, flaws in the orthopedics devices are less likely to be noticed. These flaws could be in the original devices, as well, and are simply replicated in the similar devices ready for expedited market approval.
The study was conducted for the Food and Drug Administration by a separate, non-biased group. The results of this study showed that the 510(k) approval process was not necessarily effective or beneficial to patients, and as the Food and Drug Administration exists to serve the American people as a part of our governmental system, it is likely that the approval processes will be changed in order to protect the safety and the rights of the American people.
Lawsuits, meanwhile, continue to build in courts across the country regarding faulty and/or defective joint replacement devices manufactured by several orthopedics manufacturing giants across the country.