7,000 more women in Britain received suspect implants
Around 7,000 more women than first thought in Britain have received potentially faulty PIP breast implants, the government said on Thursday.
A total of 47,000 British women are now believed to have been given the implants manufactured by the now-defunct Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), which have caused a global health scare.
But following an investigation by British UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), French authorities said this week that PIP implants made before 2001 may also contain the unauthorised silicone.
The Department of Health said it was unlikely that all 7,000 of the additional women still had the implants in place because one in five of all breast implants need replacing within 10 years anyway.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said women who had received implants through the state-run National Health Service would be able to have them replaced free of charge, but he admitted talks were still ongoing with private clinics.
"The French regulator has confirmed this week that more women may be affected by the criminal activity of the French breast implant manufacturer PIP," Lansley said.
"These women are the victims of a fraudulent company and I know this situation is causing a huge amount of anxiety. I want to reassure those affected by the news today that they will be provided with all the help they need from the NHS.
"We are still working to get private clinics to live up to their responsibilities and look after their patients."
More than 400,000 women around the world are thought to have received PIP implants.
(c) 2012 AFP