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Over 5,700 patients received Allergan’s breast implants linked to rare cancer
  • By Song Soo-youn
  • Published 2019.08.07 15:43
  • Updated 2019.08.07 15:43
  • comments 0

Health authorities around the world recently recalled Allergan’s breast implants due to the risk of rare cancer, but more than 5,700 Korean breast cancer patients used them in the past four years, a lawmaker said.

Rep. Choi Do-ja of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party, who is a member of the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee, released the data of patients who received Allergan’s Biocell textured implants, submitted from the Health and Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) on Wednesday.

Allergan’s Biocell textured breast implant, recalled due to its link to rare cancer

According to HIRA, 13,336 breast cancer patients had breast implants with insurance coverage from April 2015 to June 2019. Among them, 5,763, or 43.2 percent, had Allergan’s implants. Breast implants for breast cancer patients became reimbursable in April 2015.

The U.S. had 152 cases of breast patients developing Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) after using Allergan’s textured implants, Australia, 82, France, 59, and the U.K., 45. Among them, five Americans, three Australians, three French, and one British died.

“Patients who have just treated breast cancer are now worried about rare cancer because of breast implants. Many are concerned that they might develop rare cancer,” Choi said.

Choi went on to say that an epidemiological investigation was available on 5,763 patients identified by the HIRA, by checking their medical records.

The government should not rely on medical device importers or sellers in obtaining safety information, but should check itself using its data, she added.


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