This is an investigation which has already led to multiple pending actions against Zimmer Holdings, the largest producer of orthopedic devices in the U.S.
Zimmer manufactures an artificial hip replacement part, known as the "Durom Cup." Patients having received the Durom Cup as part of their hip replacement surgery have experienced high implant failure rates. The high implant failure rates were caused by the Zimmer Durom Cup's inability to bond with the host bone, causing the implanted hip replacement part to migrate. According to a New York Times article, the issue first surfaced when Dr. Lawrence Dorr, an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles, California, publicly warned other orthopedists that his patients were experiencing high Durom Cup failure rates.
At that time, Zimmer said it would start an investigation, but it declined to stop Durom Cup sales. Zimmer continued selling the Durom Cup until July 2008 when it decided to "temporarily suspend" U.S. sales. Although Zimmer continued to deny that the Durom Cup is defective after recalling the Durom Cup, it acknowledged that some patients receiving the hip replacement part may require revision surgery in a letter to orthopedic surgeons dated July 22, 2008. Before the Durom Cup recall, Zimmer allowed approximately 12,000 people in the United States to receive the Durom Cup, even though they knew or should have known that doctors were provided with inadequate warnings and instructions about the surgical techniques required to avoid failure of the hip replacement parts. In fact, Zimmer's own research data estimates that some doctors experienced hip failure rates as high as 5.7% with the Durom Cup. Zimmer Holdings recently announced that they will begin making the Zimmer Durom hip replacement part, also known as the Zimmer Durom Acetabular Cup, available to the public again. Zimmer indicated that the newly released Durom hip replacement part will only be available to doctors who undergo special internet training.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (ZMH)
Zimmer Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of orthopaedic and dental reconstructive implants, spinal implants, trauma products, and related surgical products.
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