Attorney General Aaron Ford, 44 States Reach $120M Settlement with Johnson & Johnson and Related Entities Over Marketing of Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants
State of Nevada will Receive over $1.7 Million from Settlement
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, along with 44 other states and the District of Columbia, announced a $120 million multistate settlement with Johnson & Johnson, DePuy Products, Inc. and other DePuy companies (DePuy). The settlement resolves the states’ investigation into allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices, the ASR XL and the Pinnacle Ultamet.
The attorneys general allege that DePuy engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in promoting these devices by making misleading claims as to their longevity, also known as survivorship. DePuy’s advertisements about the survivorship of these devices starkly contrasted information reported by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales. Moreover, the products failed to deliver the advertised survivorship, causing some patients to undergo unexpected hip implant revision surgery to replace a failed ASR XL or Pinnacle Ultamet implant. These patients experienced persistent groin pain, allergic reactions, tissue necrosis, as well as a build-up of metal ions in the blood. The ASR XL was finally recalled from the market in 2010, and DePuy discontinued its sale of the Pinnacle Ultamet in 2013.
“Patients undergoing hip implant surgery should expect to see improvement in their health and function, not decline,” said AG Ford. “This settlement is critical to the health of Nevadans, as it will help ensure that vital information is distributed to doctors who can then properly treat their patients.”
Pursuant to the settlement, the companies have agreed to pay the investigating states $120 million, of which Nevada’s share is $1,700,926.69. Additionally, DePuy has agreed to reform its marketing and promotional practices for hip implants by implementing the following actions:
- Basing claims of survivorship, stability or dislocations on scientific information and the most recent dataset available from a registry for any DePuy hip implant device;
- Maintaining a post market surveillance program and complaint handling program;
- Updating and maintaining internal product complaint handling operating procedures, including training of complaint reviewers; and
- Performing quarterly reviews of complaints. If a subgroup of patients is identified as having a higher incidence of adverse events than the full patient population, DePuy will work to determine the cause and alter promotional practices as appropriate.
In addition to Nevada, participants in the settlement include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Jo Ann Gibbs and Senior Deputy Attorney General Lucas Tucker of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection represented Nevada in this settlement.