The United States Food and Drugs Administration is in charge of safeguarding the health and well-being of the public by making sure that the foods and drugs are safe for consumption. Other items the FDA needs to supervise are medical devices, vaccines, veterinary products, cosmetics and so much more.

After DePuy Orthopaedics issued their voluntary recall of their ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System, people have begun to wonder if the FDA knew beforehand the complications these devices are causing. And if they did, for how long?

To be fair, the agency is without a registry that gathers data about medical devices after they have been sold. Countries such as Australia, England, Canada and Sweden all have a joint replacement registry that is responsible in keeping track of postmarket information regarding joint replacements. In fact, it was the Australian National Joint Replacement Registry that noticed the high failure rate of the DePuy ASR devices that led to its recall from the Australian market almost a year before the manufacturer withdrew the same implants worldwide.

The FDA have been receiving complaints from over 300 recipients of the DePuy devices giving them the notion that something is amiss. So, why didn't the agency issue the recall? It's because they couldn't. The FDA does not have the power to withdraw products straight out of the market when irregularities manifest. It can only advise the companies to do so.

Eventhough the FDA could not have recalled the devices from the market, it did not even request one from DePuy nor did it warn consumers about the underlying concerns regarding the ASRs. A few reasons have been pointed out for the agency's failure to pressure DePuy into action but it still shows that the FDA did hold information about the the hip replacements.

With the launch of pilot programs of the newly founded American Joint Replacement Registry, people are hopeful that problems associated with medical devices will decrease significantly. However, if you are a victim of the DePuy recall, this provides little comfort. To know more about the DePuy lawsuit, you could visit the DePuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit Site. Being more aware of your situation gives you the edge against companies such as DePuy.