DePuy, J&J remove two artificial hip replacements from the market

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by Heygood Orr and Pearson

Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit has announced that it will stop selling two hip replacement models manufactured by the company. The company says that it will stop selling the Ultamet Metal-on-Metal Articulation and Complete Ceramic-on-Metal Acetabular systems at the end of August.

DePuy said that the decision to remove the two artificial hip replacements from the market was made in part because of proposed changes by the Food and Drug Administration that would make the approval of metal-on-metal hip replacements more difficult. One of the two models that DePuy is taking off the market—Ultamet—is a metal-on-metal device.

DePuy’s decision to remove Ultamet from the market means that the company will no longer sell metal-on-metal hip replacements. Although the company once sold several varieties of all-metal hip implants, the devices have been at the center of controversy in recent years due to concerns about the safety of these products.

Concerns about metal-on-metal implants became widespread in August 2010 when DePuy and Johnson & Johnson recalled the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System. These two metal-on-metal hip replacements were found to fail prematurely, much earlier than other artificial hip replacements, increasing the patients need for revision surgery to repair the device.