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Not withholding interim compensation from patients who want more: Johnson and Johnson to HC

twitter-logoPTI | August 8, 2019 | Updated 20:22 IST

New Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI) Johnson and Johnson Thursday told the Delhi High Court Thursday that it was not withholding payment to those patients who underwent revision surgeries for alleged faulty hip implants made by the company and want more than the interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh. The submission by the company came in response to a query by Justice Vibhu Bakhru as to what was it doing in cases where patients want more than the Rs 25 lakh. "We are paying everyone," Johnson and Johnson told the court. However, the central government told the court that the company till date has paid the interim compensation to only 67 patients out of the over 4,700 persons who received the faulty articular surface replacements (ASR) hip implants. The government's contention was opposed by the company which said it had paid more people than just 67 and told the court that it will provide a list of the patients who have been given the interim compensation. The government also claimed that the company appeared unwilling to track down the patients mentioned in the list of persons who received the ASR hip implants. The court had on May 30 asked the company to pay the interim compensation to 67 patients after the Johnson and Johnson said it has verified that they had undergone revision surgery and it was voluntarily paying them Rs 25 lakh. The court was hearing the company's plea challenging a Health Ministry press release asking it to pay compensation to all the affected patients, as determined by the reports of the Committees formed to examine issues relating to its faulty hip implants. The company has contended that the Centre has no jurisdiction under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act to fix and enforce the compensation. It said the compensation was based on a formula and reports by a set of expert committees and recommendations which have already been challenged in the high court by the company. In the earlier petition filed in December last year, the company has sought setting aside of a government press release informing the public about the formula worked out by an expert committee to compensate patients who received the faulty hip implants produced by the pharma major's subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc (USA). It has also challenged the report of the expert committee -- headed by R K Arya, Director, Sports Injury Centre -- which worked out the compensation formula. Besides, it has sought quashing of the report of another committee -- headed by Arun Agarwal, Professor of ENT, Maulana Azad Medical College -- which was appointed by the Health Ministry for looking into the allegations of faulty hip replacement implants. PTI HMP SKV SA

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