Zimmer Medical Device Consultant Let Go

After a long and mutually lucrative relationship, Zimmer Holdings and Dr. Richard A. Berger are parting ways, and the parting isn’t all that amicable. Zimmer Holdings manufactures artificial medical devices such as knees and hips. Dr. Berger is a renowned orthopedic surgeon and former consultant for Zimmer. The relationship soured after Berger was critical of one of Zimmer’s artificial knee devices. Berger told the company that the knee’s early failure rate was unacceptable and was due to a design defect. Zimmer officials countered by stating that the problem was not with the medical device itself but Berger’s surgical technique.
Once the accusations began to fly back and forth, the relationship broke down quickly. In detailing the relationship and its demise, the NY Times made an important point when it stated that such disputes have an adverse effect on the patient. There is no way for the ordinary medical device candidate to determine if the doctor or the medical device company is correct. This makes it difficult for the patient facing a knee replacement or a hip replacement to know for certain if the device is defective or the surgeon lacks skill. Either way, it’s not a good situation for the patient.