Not only is the medical implant device industry is worth many billions of dollars, for years it enjoyed something of a heroic place within the medical and health care industry as a whole. Two decades ago, implants seem to take over where pharmaceuticals left off. Plus, as our aging population continues to wear out its parts, implants promised an almost miraculous solution. With new metal hips and knees, we were well on our way to becoming a kind of bionic America that could bound and jump well into our nineties. Right?
Backlash Against Medical Device Industry
After an initial golden age of promise, the medical implant industry has suffered a sharp backlash in recent years. Numerous implant systems and technologies have either failed to perform as promised or done more harm than good — some have even killed people. As recipients of these faulty devices have gone to the press or to court, the reputation of the medical implant industry has been dragged through the mud and then some.
A comprehensive report undertaken by a group of investigative journalists released last week represents yet another alarming contribution to the conversation around medical implants. The report, written and collected the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ, includes numerous scathing reviews of various implant technologies and dire consequences their implementation had for patients around the world.
Unsafe Medical Devices Linked to Tens of Thousands of Deaths
According to the ICIJ, implants and other medical devices can be linked to close to 83,000 fatalities and more than 1.7 million injuries over the past decade. And those are only from figures reported to the FDA. The report’s authors wrote that "medical implants sicken, maim and sometimes kill the very people they were designed to help," and that health authorities across the globe have failed to protect millions of patients from "poorly tested implants that can puncture organs, deliver errant shocks to the heart, rot bones and poison blood, spew overdoses of opioids and cause other needless harm."
Some recent devices that have gained national attention — and thousands of lawsuits include the following:
Transvaginal Mesh Devices
Essure Birth Control Implants
Metal-on-metal Hip Implants
Hernia Mesh Implants
Michael Schafle: Unsafe Medical Device Attorney
Firm partner Michael Schafle maintains an active practice representing individuals in catastrophic accidents involving tractor-trailers, construction falls and injuries, and defective products. He also currently represents victims of several allegedly unsafe drugs and medical devices in state court and multi-district litigation (MDL) .