The High Cost of Failing Artificial Hips

The most widespread medical implant failure in decades — involving thousands of all-metal artificial hips that need to be replaced prematurely — has entered the money phase. Medical and legal experts estimate the hip failures may cost taxpayers, insurers, employers and others billions of dollars in coming years, contributing to the soaring cost of health care. One troubled all-metal model, implanted in 40,000 patients in the United States, was recalled last year by the DePuy division of Johnson & Johnson. As of October, some 3,500 patients had filed a lawsuit involving that device.

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