What product costs $8,000 – and doesn’t include a warranty?

The average cost for an artificial knee or hip is $8000 – and that’s just for the device. The surgery to replace a hip or knee can be very expensive, and a patient can spend weeks or months in physical therapy or rehabilitation.

Medical device manufacturers make billions on knee and hip implants, but most do not offer so much as a basic warranty on their products.

When a hip or knee implant fails, the patient has to go through the entire ordeal again – and pay for it again.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans have hip or knee replacements every year. Many are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, which means that taxpayers pick up the check.

Consumers Union, the action arm of Consumer Reports, is petitioning hip and knee implant makers for 20-year warranty their products.

 “A warranty would cover the full replacement cost of a failed device, and the device maker should continue to work with the patient and surgeon if the device fails.”

Ask Zimmer, DePuy, Stryker and the others to warranty their hip and knee implants: sign the letter to the manufacturers at SafePatientProject.org.