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New information has emerged today regarding the follow-up given to the case of Philips and its faulty ventilation devices. On the one hand, the ANSM takes a health policy decision to speed up their replacement. On the other hand, several patients wish to take the company to court and have contacted Maître Christophe Lèguevaques, lawyer at the Paris bar, interviewed by Doctissimo.
Since the announcement of the information in a previous article “Can Philips devices against sleep apnea be responsible for cancer?”, things are still moving. The patients who were victims of the defective ventilation devices from Philips have decided to seek the services of a lawyer to launch a class action. They chose Maître Christophe Lèguevaques, a lawyer at the Paris bar, having condemned the Merck laboratory in an action of this type in 2020.
Two procedures: civil and criminal
“We offer two possibilities on our site, on the myleo.legal site: patients can choose to participate in civil or criminal proceedings. The first is the lack of information that Philips has shared since June 14, the date on which it publicly announced the existing problem on its machines. We want Philips to recognize the harm suffered by patients, due to the concern they may have since the announcement of this issue “Explains first of all Master Lèguevaques. “The second procedure, criminal, concerns more patients who have triggered a pathology that can possibly be attributed to the use of these machines. This concerns a smaller number of people and it is a much longer, more in-depth and contradictory procedure. It requires analyzing the data provided by Philips by independent experts to find the truth for these patients. adds the lawyer again.
For the civil procedure, the lawyer thinks that Philips could be brought to discuss a compensation before even going until the lawsuit: “It would be better for the image of the company, I think we have a serious chance of winning.” indicates Maître Lèguevaques, who estimates the damage at 15,000 euros per victim.
For criminal proceedings, “the purpose is to convict the culprit and to compensate the victims on a case-by-case basis, according to the damage suffered” further explains the lawyer who says to himself “confident and determined“.
The ANSM takes a “health policy” decision
After declaring that it wanted to force Philips to replace its devices, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) declared that it had “made a health policy decision to prompt Philips Respironics to expedite the replacement of certain ventilators and CPAP devices following the identification of a possible problem with the sound-absorbing foam“. Thus, the ANSM reiterates “the obligation for home care providers to inform the patients concerned of the recall by Philips Respironics of its devices, then, depending on the availability of the equipment, to continue the process of replacing the equipment“.
“For the moment, according to the first available data, the risk of cancer linked to the use of these ventilators and CPAP devices concerned has not been proven. reminds the agency. She explains the terms of replacement of defective machines by Philips Respironics, which must accelerate, namely:
- The replacement with service providers or the repair of 75% of the devices concerned in June 2022;
- Replacement with service providers or repair of 100% of devices in December 2022
Philips Respironics is also required to:
- send the ANSM a monthly progress report on the schedule;
- to set up an epidemiological study to assess the risk of cancer potentially induced by exposure to the ventilation equipment concerned, the preliminary results of which must be sent to the ANSM within one year at the latest.
Finally, the ANSM relies on home healthcare providers, which it “calls for all useful measures to be put in place, in particular traceability and patient information, to contribute to compliance with this schedule“.