A recent CBS Investigative Report found that a "majority of medical implants are not [sufficiently] tested" before they are implanted. In fact, many devices are allowed onto the consumer market after some minimal testing, routine paperwork, and a paid fee of about $4,000 to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
One of the products streamlined by the "fast-tracked" FDA approval process : metal-on-metal hip implants. According to the report, these metal-on-metal hip implants were one of many medical products approved after minimal clinical trials, then tested on unsuspecting patients before health risks were known. Michael Carome, deputy director of the patient advocacy organization, Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said in a statement that, "This is one very large uncontrolled experiment exposing millions of patients to an unknown risk."Over 90,000 patients were given a metal-on-metal hip before further research showed a failure rate of nearly 50% and possible side effects of metal chaffing, permanent nerve and muscle damage, and pain and swelling. The CBS report went even further, stating that, "The investigation into the implants found that chromium and cobalt ions from this type of artificial hip can seep into the surrounding tissue to destroy muscle and bone and spread to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and kidneys, potentially causing damage. The researchers were also concerned the ions could affect a person's chromosomes, resulting in genetic changes." One study even found a "threefold risk of lymphoma and leukemia 10 years after joint replacement."
According to the report, potentially millions may be affected by the dangerous levels of toxins that have seeped into the body through these metal-on-metal implants. The report also revealed that manufacturers knew of their products "possible toxicity from implants in 2005" and continued to market these products unabated.