Philips says the FDA’s figure includes all types of reports from the company’s own database. The vast majority of these are not related to complaints of sound-absorbing foam. For example, there are reports of other repairs, and questions from patients about unrelated matters.
The company also does not agree with the FDA’s comment that Philips was aware of the matter earlier. “We’ve had quite a few complaints per year for a number of years and they’ve been handled as individual cases,” CEO Frans van Houten explains. According to Phillips, it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that it became clear that there was a pattern and then action was taken.
So it is indisputable that more than the 500 million euros of funds already booked by Philips have been allocated. “We look at that during every report, so we’ll evaluate it again relative to our annual numbers,” Van Houten says.
Sleep apnea devices
The issue surrounding sleep apnea devices came to a head when Philips itself announced its withdrawal. It concerns respirators for home use by apnea patients. The foam used in devices to dampen sound can be dangerous. Not only is it able to break down into small particles, but it can also release certain chemicals, for example after coming into contact with certain cleaning agents.
Van Houten made his remarks at a presentation before a major trade fair in Chicago. Philips will introduce new computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound equipment there. The company is also creating the option of combining a CT scanner and a treatment room. As a result, doctors can immediately check whether the treatment has been successful and patients do not have to return for a separate examination.
It’s true that the hardware is getting more expensive, but “of the total costs of the scanner, the purchase is only a small part,” says Van Houten. In addition, Philips is also providing more and more devices to pay-per-use hospitals. This also makes the costs more visible.
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