In his book, “Ten Myths and Facts about Defective Drug Injury Claims: What Every Consumer Needs to Know,” Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP partner Peter Brodhead says, “Defective drug lawsuits over the past several years have unfortunately revealed numerous instances in which drug makers have both withheld important information about serious adverse side effects and blamed those adverse effects on other factors.”
The Senate Finance Committee proved that this week when it released information about its 16-month probe into Medtronic’s business practices. As Bloomberg reported, Medtronic wrote and edited 11 medical journal articles about its Infuse Bone Graft product.
In fact, according to the Senate Finance Committee press release, Medtronic paid doctors $210 million in royalties and consulting fees to write articles that painted its Infuse product to be better -- and less painful -- than competing medical devices. The company may have gone so far as limiting the number of adverse side effects it included in a 2005 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery article.
“Medtronic’s actions violate the trust patients have in their medical care,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in the release. “Medical journal articles should convey an accurate picture of the risks and benefits of drugs and medical devices, but patients are at serious risk when companies distort the facts the way Medtronic has.”