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Need to Know: March 22, 2012: Medical devices

This week “Need to Know” medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay examines whether the Food and Drug Administration’s medical device review process is adequately protecting the public. While the vast majority of these devices are safe and effective, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), hundreds are recalled every year. And the impact of an unsafe device can be devastating.

Plus, anchor Jeff Greenfield interviews Dr. Josh Rising, project director of the Medical Device Initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Read the show transcript.


Medical devices: Statements and documents

Read statements from the FDA and ETHICON to Need to Know, the original brochure for the ETHICON PROLIFT device and reports from the Government Accountability Office.

Dr. Josh Rising

Dr. Josh Rising is Project Director of the Medical Device Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts.  One of its goals is to improve the tracking of the safety of medical devices on the market.

Web exclusive: Coping with chronic pain

In this web exclusive, Linda Gross speaks to Need to Know medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay about how she deals with her chronic pain, compounded by feelings of anxiety, frustration and isolation.

ProPublica: Four Medical Devices That Escaped FDA Scrutiny

Delve into ProPublica’s investigation into surgical mesh, hip implants, heart valve rings and defibrillator leads.

F.D.A. Whistleblowers

Read more about the internal disagreements over review processes at the F.D.A.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.