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Implant firms ‘have duty of care’

Implant firms ‘have duty of care’

Companies which sell cosmetic surgery are duty-bound to help women who have had faulty breast implants, a Labour MP has said.

Such firms should honour their responsibilities and offer help to their patients who have had the surgery, according to shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.

Breast implants made by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), using cheaper industrial silicone which could rupture while inside the body, are thought to have been used on as many as 40,000 women in Britain.

PIP, a company based in France, was shut down in 2011 by the French government.

But, according to UK watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the risk of a PIP implant rupturing is just 1% and removing them from women is not necessary.

Mr Burnham said the companies which provided the surgery should pay for women to have consultations with a doctor to talk about what they can do.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, agreed.

He said: "The industry should meet that cost (of GP consultations).

"You get the distinct impression here we are dealing with an industry that's good at the sales pitch and taking the money up front but less good at the after-care and facing up to responsibilities when things go wrong."

Mr Lansley said the cosmetic surgery companies are "evading responsibilities", adding: "I would ensure that people who have had a problem, where there has been evidence of rupture, that they get immediate corrective surgery paid for by the private cosmetic surgery industry.

"It's just not acceptable to hear they have refused to do that."

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