Doctors Fail to Disclose $4Million in Payments from Medical Device Companies

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that orthopedists failed to disclose $4,000,000 in payments from companies that manufacture artificial hips and knees. The discrepancy in payment disclosure was found after a new study compared what medical device companies disclosed in relation to the doctors’ disclosures at the March 2008 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
In 2007, medical device companies agreed to disclose such financial information as part of a US Justice Department investigation in which the federal government accused device companies of violating anti-kick back laws by remunerating doctors for using their products. Companies involved in the Justice Department probe included Zimmer Holdings Inc. and Biomet Inc. of Warsaw, Ind.; Stryker Corp. of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Smith & Nephew PLC of London; and the DePuy Orthopaedics unit of Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J.
According to the research, 344 payments were made to orthopedists while only 245 doctors revealed the payments.