Medical implant scandal rocks UK health market

In the UK alone, more than 60,000 "adverse incident" reports were made to regulators about defective medical implants in between 2015 and 2018. 

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Medical implant scandal rocks UK health market - NewsMavens
Operating room, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

Tens of thousands of people have been fitted with defective medical mesh implants, contraceptive devices, pacemakers and other devices across the globe.

One of the devices being scrutinized is Essure, a sterilisation method for women produced by Bayer. Nearly 8,500 women had to have the device surgically removed.

One British woman, Laura, a mother of five, had to use a wheelchair after having the contraceptive implant fitted. The manufacturer is now withdrawing Essure from markets around the world.

From severe pelvic pain and the need for hysterectomies as a result of faulty contraceptive implant Essure, to recalled metal-on-metal hip replacements that caused bone breakages on removal, the impact of dodgy implants is remarkable.

The scandal has been revealed as part of a global investigation into faulty medical items by the International Consortium of Journalists, known as the Implant Files.

As well as serious harm cause to people by these devices, the investigation found a shadowy industry in which confidentiality rules and non-disclosure agreements prevent information about faulty devices surfacing.

Details from the story:

  • The global Implant Files investigation has found that faulty medical implants are harming patients around world.
  • From contraceptive methods to pacemakers, several flawed devices have been uncovered by more than 250 journalists worldwide.
  • The damage revealed by the investigation has been attributed to poor regulation and soft restrictions on device testing.
  • More than 1,000 cases resulted in death.
  • However fewer than 20% of countries globally make data available to the public on device recalls and other safety issues, the investigation found.
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