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Dispatches TV Programme on Channel 4
'The truth about going under the knife'

13th November 2011

channel 4 dispatches channel 4 dispatches

Dispatches - in a joint investigation with the BMJ - explores what's implanted into our bodies. Almost 40 million of us come into contact with a medical device every day. That includes everything from a basic sticking plaster to hi-tech coils implanted into the arteries leading to the heart. The medical device industry is worth over £200 billion a year. Dispatches investigates whether in the drive for innovation, patient safety can come second. The programme reveals that although these medical devices save thousands of lives every day, there are questions from patients and doctors about the amount of testing that these products go through before they go on general sale. Please scroll down the webpage to view comments from our own support group.

Investigations question safety regulation of medical devices click to view www.channel4.com/info/press/news/investigations-question-safety-regulation-of-medical-devices >>>

PDF: Investigations-question-safety-regulation-of-medical-devices.pdf >>>

surgeon imageThe Telegraph Faulty medical implants leave NHS with costly bill By Laura Roberts

Thousands of people face painful and expensive surgery to remove faulty metal hip replacements, heart pacemakers and medical implants amid concerns that the industry is not regulated adequately. To read more please click on the external link as below:
www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8515099/Faulty-medical-implants-leave-NHS-with-costly-bill.html >>>

new NEW WEBPAGE worldwide-registers-reporting-adverse-incidents-for-medical-devices.html >>>

Comments we have received regarding this serious problem regulating medical devices as below. Thank you for showing you care.

17 May 2011
I thought the Dispatches programme highlighted a lot of points that are also relevant to our case i.e that the devices only have to be similar to a previous one on the market. It also brilliantly highlighted that we are guinea pigs. I was shocked to hear that often pharmaceutical reps are present in theatre though my permission for a non medical person to be present in any of my operations was never asked.

It's also appalinging to hear that THE MHRA wait to hear from the pharmaceutical companies re-any warnings or problems - they need to get real as if that is going to happen when so much money is laying on it. I wonder what planet the MHRA are on but in my book that does not get them off the hook their portryal to the public at large is that they are protecting us from rogue devices and medications which is clearly not the case when they are waiting to here from the manufacturers.
TVT Mum Member name and address submitted for publication

16 May 2011

Yes, the problem is that medical devices are not subject to the same scrutiny as drugs.

Drugs must go through three Trial Phases and are usually subject to robust RCTs. This does not happen with devices.

This is a scandal. Logically, Medical Devices should be subject to a similar process to drugs before receving a marketing licence.

In additon, most doctors do report drug side effects to the MHRA but surgeons seem to have a mental block about reporting the side effects of new medical devices. The latter may be related to the surgeons ' ego ' as they may worry that such problems reflect their surgical expertise.

I feel that this is a ' thalidomide ' moment where a major problem will lead to the improved regulation of Medical Devices in line with drugs.
From our Medical Advisor for TVT Mum support group

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