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James Bell: Worldwide recall of defective medical devices

By Principal Lawyer, Clinical Negligence

It has been a concerning time for many patients in the UK in 2011 and 2012, suffering with defective medical devices. The recent DePuy ASR hip and PIP breast implant scandal has shocked many people in the health industry. These events have led to worldwide recalls of defective medical devices and calls for tighter regulation of the market.
An even more tragic situation has emerged in Pakistan in recent days. At least 70 people have died in Lahore, Pakistan over the last three weeks after ingesting contaminated medicines manufactured by local pharmaceutical companies. The victims were all heart patients at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. The Pakistan Tribune newspaper has reported that three drug factory owners have been arrested in connection with the deaths. Some reports say that heavy metals were added to the product.
Patients who took the sub-standard drugs endured a sudden drop of white cells and blood platelets and displayed symptoms similar to those of dengue fever -- a mosquito-borne illness quite common in Pakistan. However, when it was learned that all the dead were heart patients, suspicions pointed to the makers of the cardiovascular drugs. Pakistan government health officials have now warned that as many as 40,000 people could have taken the same contaminated medicines that caused the deaths.James Bell is a Partner in the Russell Jones & Walker clinical negligence team. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.