British women begin legal action over defective breast implants


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Indy Lifestyle Online

Around 250 British women with breast implants made by a French firm are suing the UK clinics that performed the surgery.

The move comes amid warnings by leading doctors about the risks of rupture and possible links to cancer associated with the implants made by the firm Poly Implant Prothese, or PIP. Up to 50,000 women in Britain are thought to have the pre-filled silicone gel implants made by the now-defunct company.

The implants have been linked to the death of a French woman from a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and the implants are implicated in another seven or eight similar cases.

They are filled with an unapproved gel and there have been reports that the protective barriers are faulty. Hundreds of the women affected by the product are to pursue high court case in Cardiff next year, according to Mark Harvey, a partner at Hugh James solicitors, who is representing them.

French authorities will formally announce tomorrow that up to 30,000 women who received a specific type of implant in France can have them taken out.

But the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said there is no evidence to support removal of the implants.