Implants warning ‘duty of surgeons’

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It was the responsibility of plastic surgeons to warn women of potential dangers from PIP breast implants, says the UK’s medicines regulator.

Professor Sir Kent Woods, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), defended the regulator’s actions in the lead up to the PIP breast implant scandal. He told the Commons Health Committee yesterday that the MHRA’s actions had been “appropriate”, but that it had been unable to communicate directly with affected patients because it did not have their identity data.

Around 40,000 women in the UK received implants made by the now-closed French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP).

Professor Woods said the MHRA told surgeons in March 2010 not to implant the devices, following an alert from French authorities.

But asked if he was “absolutely confident” no PIP implants had been put in after that date, Professor Woods said he could not be. Information had been sent out but he could not say no PIP implant was moved from store into an operating theatre after then.