Conflicts of Interest Among Doctors and Device Makers
Written By: Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP
Less than half of surgeons who recieved $1 million or more in payments from medical device manufacturers disclosed their relationships when publishing scientific articles according to a study published by the Intitute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP).
The study analyzed the 2007 physician payment information from five medical device manufacturers: Zimmer (Zimmer Durom Cup), Stryker, Johnson & Johnson's DePuy (DePuy Hip Implant), Biomet and Smith & Nephew. These companys made a total of 1,654 payments totaling more than $248 million according to publicly available data. Among these payments 41 were to orthopedic surgeon researchers ranging from $1 million to as high as $8.8 million. Only 7 percent of the articles reviewed disclosed any ties between the device makers and the researchers and only when asked by the publication to do so.
The president of IMAP, David Rothman, had this to say about the study "The findings raise troubling questions about undisclosed payments or royalties and other fees from medical device companies that could lead to biased scientific conclusions."
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