Saturday, January 17, 2009

Medical Payola - It Isn't Going To Stop By Itself

The latest shocker is reported in the WSJ and concerns a huge problem in Badgerland.

[Added later: Margaret Soltan on her University Diaries blog and Gary Schwitzer on his health news blog have both given this topic the exposure that it should have. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Highly recommended reads.]

From the Wall Street Journal:

Medtronic Paid Researcher More Than $20,000 -- Much More

A prominent spine surgeon and researcher at the University of Wisconsin received $19 million in payment over five years from Medtronic Inc., one of the country's largest makers of spinal devices, according to a senator who is investigating potential conflicts of interest in medicine.

The surgeon, Thomas Zdeblick, received the payments while helping Medtronic develop and promote a number of spinal products. Medtronic's $19 million in payments to Dr. Zdeblick from 2003 to 2007 went "greatly" beyond what was evident in disclosures he made to the university, Sen. Charles Grassley said in a Jan. 12 letter to Kevin P. Reilly, ...

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