Patients who received faulty hip implants from Johnson and Johnson will receive compensation of Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1.22 crore, depending on their age and extent of disability. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday approved the formula for compensation based on the recommendations of the expert committee under the chairmanship of Dr Arun Kumar Agarwal, ex-dean and professor of ENT, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi.
The committee had suggested that at least Rs 20 lakh be paid to each patient. The formula that was approved provides for higher compensation amount by factoring in the age and degree of disability of the patient. It adds a sum of Rs 10 lakh towards “non-pecuniary damages”.
The compensation is for those patients who had received (prior to August 2010) faulty Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip implants manufactured by M/s. DePuy International Limited, U.K (M/S Johnson & Johnson Pvt Ltd).
The hip implants were used on patients across the country for several years before the company in 2012 was asked to stop import. In the faulty implants, accelerated wear of metal on metal resulted in higher levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood which lead to toxicity. Metal ions damage tissues and organs, experts found.
The decision on the compensation comes days before the Supreme Court takes up on Monday a PIL that has sought investigations into these faulty hip implants and demanded compensation for victims. The government has also been asked to submit a report on the matter.
Based on the recommendations of the A K Agarwal committee, the government had constituted a Central Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr R K Arya, Director, Sports Injury Centre to determine the quantum of compensation. All the State/UT governments were requested to form state-level committees to examine the affected patients in respective states and to make the process less traumatic for them. These committees would send their recommendations to the central committee.
All the state/UT government had also been requested to make people aware through newspaper advertisements so that they may approach either the Central Expert Committee or State Level Committee. The formula finalise by Dr R K Arya after five meetings builds on Rs 20 lakh as the base amount, which is then multiplied by the age and disability factors and then Rs 10 lakh is added to the product to reach the final sum. Disability factors are between 1 and 2.5 depending on whether the disability is 20% or 50% and more.
Thus, a person aged above 65 years who suffered a disability of 20-30% would get compensation of Rs 30 lakh under the approved formula. On the other hand, a 20-year-old person who suffered a disability of more than 50% would be eligible for compensation of Rs 1.22 crore, according to the formula.
Compensation will be paid through bank accounts of affected persons by M/S Johnson & Johnson Pvt Ltd, the Ministry of Health said in a statement late on Thursday night.