Stryker Hip Recall Raises Ethical Questions

The Stryker recall of medical hip surgery products that followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning last week has focused attention on this orthopedic product manufacturer. Stryker recalled its Trident PSL and Hemispherical Caps that were made in its Cork, Ireland plant. The company had received consumer complaints since 2005 about improper fitting of the hip implants that cause bone fractures. It is expected that civil lawsuits will be filed to determine the cause of the product failures.
Further investigation into this company reveals that Stryker Orthopedics, a division of Howmedica Osteonics Corp., based in Mahwah, N.J. entered into a nonprosecution agreement and a civil settlement with New Jersey U.S. Attorney Christopher Christies over charges that from 2002-2006 Stryker funneled money through consulting agreements to surgeons. The U.S. Attorney’s staff said that the payment provisions violated an anti kickback provision of the medicare fraud statute. As part of the settlement Stryker hired former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft as a monitor to supervise corporate reforms mandated by the settlement.
It will be interesting to see if there is any relation between the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s investigation and the defective hip implant recall. I look forward to taking the depositions of the company officers on these questions.
Stryker Recall Attorney Stryker Hip Implant Acetabular Cup Recall Lawsuit