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State AGs reach $120M settlement over hip replacement devices

South Carolina will receive $4.5 million as its share of a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson for falsely stating the longevity of its metal-on-metal hip implants, causing serious medical problems for patients who had to have them replaced, state Attorney General Alan Wilson announced.

Wilson was one of 46 attorneys general involvement in the settlement with the companies.

“Surgeons who implant devices like these metal-on-metal hip replacement systems need to have the most accurate, up-to-date information concerning patient outcomes,” Wilson said. “With this accurate information, surgeons can decide if the device should be used on their patients.”

Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, DePuy, advertised the ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip implants as having longer longevity than they actually had. The ASR XL was recalled from the market in 2010. DePuy discontinued its sale of the Pinnacle Ultamet in 2013.

Some patients who required hip implant revision surgery to replace a failed ASR XL or Pinnacle Ultamet implant experienced persistent groin pain, allergic reactions, tissue necrosis, as well as a build-up of metal ions in the blood, Wilson’s office said.

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