A select group of House Democrats have asked Republican leaders to investigate the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants and stents used to clear clogged arteries in the brain, following reports that the devices developed serious defects which caused patients using them to suffer severe injuries.

In their letter to Republicans, members of the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote, “Specifically, we believe that looking further into the ‘metal-on-metal’ hip implants and brain stents, two high-profile devices that appear to have resulted in significant harm to human health, would shed further light on the regulation of medical devices.”

The Congressional interest in device safety was prompted by the growing number of adverse events being reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the FDA has now received more than 5,000 complaints regarding J&J’s all-metal implants. Moreover, about 15 percent of the patients who received the Wingspan brain stent, manufactured by Natick, have either suffered a stroke or died within just 30 days of their procedure.


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