News article published on: 20th June 2012
Hundreds of British women are planning to take legal action amid fears that their breast implants are linked to cancer.
The scandal erupted towards the end of 2011 after it emerged that the product manufactured by the now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) was made using cheap industrial silicone instead of medical grade supplies.
In March 2010 the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) released a medical device alert after the French medical device regulatory authority (AFSSAPS) released the results of tests confirming that there may be a higher rate of rupture in PIP breast implants.
AFSSAPS confirmed that the gel used within the PIP implants is not the same as the one described in their manufacturer’s design guide and that the quality of the gel can lead to inflammatory reactions in some women, because of the irritant character of this low quality gel.
Further studies have also revealed that the unapproved gel was intended for used in mattresses and that PIP implants have a higher chance of rupture.
Andrew Lansley, Secretary for Health last week reiterated government advice that the implants, which 40,000 women in the UK have, do not require removal. However this is in contrast to advice given by the French authorities who are recommending that 30,000 women have their implants removed as a precaution – the cost of which will be covered by the French government.
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