Government puts pressure on private sector to pay for removal of PIP breast implants

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 09 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e249
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The UK government has announced that women who received a particular type of breast implant from France through the NHS should be able to have them removed at no personal cost.

Private clinics are expected by the Department of Health in England to follow suit and to pay for any women with the implants to have them removed, if they choose to do so, without paying for the procedure.

Early indications from the private sector are that some companies, but not all, will pay for removal of the implants but not replacement. The government has said that it will pay for removals in cases where women find that their clinic is no longer in business or refuses to help them.

The announcement on 6 January applies to implants produced by the French company Poly Implant Prosthèse (PIP), which went into administration last year after use of its implants was banned amid worries that they used non-medical grade silicone.

After concerns were raised in France about a possible link between the implants and cancer, experts there concluded that there was no …

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