Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) has reached a four million settlement with the state of Oregon to resolve allegations that J&J improperly marketed its DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implants. J&J has recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants, which had a 12% failure rate in five years.
David Hart, Oregon’s Assistant Attorney General stated that Oregon began looking into the issue in 2011 and had launched an investigation about a year before the start of a multi-state investigation. Hart further stated that DePuy began settlement discussions with state officials after they had prepared a civil complaint.
Oregon’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum noted that DePuy sold 432 of the ASR hip devices in the state from 2005, when they were first introduced in the United States. “Oregonians in need of a hip replacement deserve to know that the artificial hip they are contemplating in fact has the qualities, and benefits, that a company advertises,” according to Ellen Rosenblum.
In fact, more states are taking the initiative to file individual lawsuits against drug and medical device manufacturers over deceptive marketing. For example, both Kentucky and Maryland filed separate lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in February, over the drug Avandia. They accused GSK of deceptively marketing the popular diabetes drug, which has now been linked to an increased risk for strokes and heart attacks.
Last year, J&J announced a settlement agreement under which it would pay approximately $2.5 billion to compensate thousands of patients that were claiming injuries from the implants.