DePuy Discontinues Pinnacle Hip Devices, Citing Decline in Sales

As of May 2013, more than 4,000 Pinnacle hip implant cases have been consolidated to the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Texas.

Although claims are based on the same problems and injuries as those caused by the DePuy ASR system that was recalled in August 2010, DePuy has refused to recall the Pinnacle hips. Almost 3 years after the ASR recall, DePuy has now announced that it will no longer manufacture or distribute the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacements or the Pinnacle metal-on-ceramic hip replacements. They will cease manufacturing of the devices in August of 2013.

DePuy denies that their decision to discontinue the devices is due to failure rates or pending lawsuits. Rather, the company blames declining sales and a desire to streamline its products as reasons for pulling the devices off the market.

For those who followed the timeline of the DePuy ASR recall, that reasoning may sound very familiar. Before they recalled their ASR devices in August 2010, the company cited declining sales as the reason for pulling ASR devices off of the market. Of course, it soon became apparent that the decline in sales was likely due to the increased failure rates and the fact that doctors lost trust in the product.

It is not apparent whether a recall will follow or what type of impact this will have on the litigation. The Pinnacle litigation is about a year behind the ASR litigation, and Bellwether cases are scheduled to commence in September 2014.



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