Antitrust regulators from the European Union will decide by October 3rd whether to allow U.S. manufacturer Zimmer Holdings to buy rival device manufacturer BioMet Inc. The sale would make Zimmer the second-largest orthopedic manufacturer behind Johnson & Johnson.
The sale could come with legal baggage, as BioMet currently faces multiple hip replacement lawsuits alleging that its M2A Magnum metal-on-metal hip implants have caused serious injuries. Patients have complained of M2A Magnum side effects, including tissue damage, premature loosening of the hip joint and toxic levels of metal in the blood stream.
A 2011 study by the Australian National Joint Registry found that the BioMet M2A Magnum had a yearly revision rate of 7.2%, a rate much higher than other devices. Despite the increased risks of hip replacement side effects, BioMet has not issued an M2A Magnum recall.