Industry News & Competitive Intelligence
1. $788,000 paid to doctor accused of faking study
Medtronic said on Wednesday that it had paid nearly $800,000 over an eight-year period to a former military surgeon who has been accused by the Army of falsifying a medical journal study involving one of the company’s products. The surgeon, Dr. Timothy R. Kuklo, claimed in the study that the use of a Medtronic bone growth product called Infuse had proved highly beneficial in treating leg injuries suffered by American soldiers in Iraq. The British medical journal that published the article retracted it this year after an internal Army investigation found that Dr. Kuklo had forged the names of four other doctors on the study and had cited data that did not match military records. Other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where Dr. Kuklo worked until August 2006, said that he had also overstated the benefits of the Medtronic product. Dr. Kuklo, who now works as an assistant medical professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has repeatedly declined to comment on the situation. Medtronic has said it was not involved in any way with the challenged report. The company is under investigation by the Justice Department and Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, in connection with possibly illegally marketing of Infuse through outside physicians like Dr. Kuklo who work for it as consultants. The company has denied doing so. Last month, it suspended Dr. Kuklo’s consulting contract.
The New York Times by Barry Meier, June 18, 2009