Medilink News 20th Anniversary Edition Medilink News NOE 2017f - Page 15

EXPERT VIEW NEAL LUMB FINCH INSURANCE BROKERS HOW ARE CLASS ACTIONS A DANGER TO MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS? In a recent legal case, over 800 women have launched action against the NHS and the manufacturer of a vaginal mesh implant used to treat pelvic prolapse after childbirth, alleging that the devices have left them in lifelong pain. Whilst the medical product regulator has said the current evidence shows the devices are ‘acceptably safe’ if used ‘properly and as intended’, the litigation costs will be enormous, and the manufacturer’s defence costs are likely to be funded by their Products Liability insurers. This case highlights the importance of medical product manufacturers having an adequate level of Products Liability insurance. As an example, if a judge were to award 800 claimants a nominal amount of £20,000 each then the Company would be liable to pay £16 million in awards. It is highly unlikely that many businesses carry anywhere near this level of insurance cover and would therefore be liable for any shortfall. Products Liability insurance is usually written with a ‘per occurrence’ indemnity limit but is also subject to an annual aggregate limit which caps the amount an insurer will pay in any policy year. It is therefore highly advisable that all companies review the aggregate aspect as well to ensure they are properly protected. How can companies ensure they are properly protected? • Consider the risk associated with the product. Common sense tells you that a bandage presents less risk to a patient than an invasive product and is far less likely to cause harm. As such higher limits of cover are advisable for higher risk products. • Consider the volume and geography that the products are sold in. If you sell to the UK market only, you are less likely to be sued than if you supply to the USA for example. Defence costs in foreign territories also tend to be much higher thank in the UK. It is therefore advisable to protect yourself with a higher limit of cover if you are selling outside of the UK. LET OUR COMMERCIAL PARTNER SITE LOOK AFTER YOUR INTERNATIONAL EVENT LOGISTICS Medilink’s Commercial Partner ‘Servicing International Trade Events’ (SITE) is a specialist event logistics provider whose service package includes a comprehensive consultancy service. SITE is a one stop shop for all your international exhibition requirements. They offer assistance for exhibitions, conferences, product launches, road shows and trade fairs across the globe. With their extensive experience in the industry, they can provide advice on all aspects of events, from design and implementation stage to transport, onsite logistics and skilled personnel and labour. The range of services they offer include event management, stand design and construction, freight and long term storage solutions. They are also developing an exciting new live chat feature to provide quick answers to any exhibitor queries - operating 24 hours and in multiple languages. Their consultation and management services ensure you have peace of mind - all service elements of the event process will have been catered for leaving you to concentrate on the exhibition itself. SITE will continue to work with Medilink on Asia Health 2018, Africa Health 2018, FIME 2018, Medic East Africa 2017, Rehacare 2017, Medica 2017 and Arab Health 2018. For more information contact international@medilink.co.uk Once you have worked out your risk exposures, you will be able to decide how much Products Liability cover you require. Being properly insured could make the difference between your business surviving a major claim or not. Finch is the exclusive Insurance and Employee Benefits partner to Medilink and we have extensive experience of Products liability for companies operating in the medical sector both in the UK and abroad. If you have any questions we would be delighted to help in any way we can. Please contact neal.lumb@finchib.co.uk. Please note - the views being expressed are those of the author and not necessarily Medilink. 15