Saturday, January 01, 2011

BLOGSCAN - On Device Company's Obfuscation of the Reasons for Payments to Surgeons

On the Hooked: Ethics, Medicine and Pharma blog, Dr Howard Brody analyzed further the case of the huge royalties paid to spine surgeons by Medtronic (see our most recent post here).  He wondered why surgeons would get such sizable payments for "intellectual property" related to devices that they neither seemed to use or to research?  I would note that the lack of clarity about the reason for Medtronic's payments to these surgeons is just part of a larger lack of clarity about most of the payments made to physicians and medical and health care academics for "consulting" or serving on advisory boards.  If such professional-industrial collaboration is so important for "innovation," one wonders why the people engaged in it are almost never willing to disclose the topics of these wonderful interchanges?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From my perspective I would view this as a general sales commission. This is not based on a per unit number but the strength of the product. The point has been made that the consumer does not participate in this decision, nor do they receive any financial consideration in return for accepting the use of one product v another.

Pharma’s message for years has been: Drugs are good, why are you not taking more drugs. It is easy to see the device manufacturers taking the same position, remembering that procedures provide more income and profit for both the manufacturer and the hospital/doctor.

This cost is then bore by everyone as insurance and the government pay the going rate and no one doctor or hospital can be held accountable.

Steve Lucas