Friday, November 9, 2012

US firm accused of manipulating journal articles and paying millions to authors/ BMJ

Another blockbuster article from the BMJ:  Medtronic paid hundreds of millions of dollars (most to doctors) to write its own articles on a spinal fusion device and genetically engineered protein to stimulate bone growth:
The US medical device company Medtronic was “heavily involved in drafting, editing, and shaping the content of medical journal articles authored by its physician consultants,” who were paid hundreds of millions of dollars by the company through royalties and consulting fees, a US Senate Finance Committee staff investigation has found.1
The committee investigated 13 journal articles related to Medtronic’s product Infuse, a bone growth stimulating protein approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for use in spinal fusion surgery.2 The protein is used in conjunction with a Medtronic spinal fusion device for treatment of degenerative disc disease in the lower spine.
The protein, a genetically engineered version of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rh-BMP2), has been used to treat more than 500 000 patients. In Europe it is known as dibotermin alfa and it is marketed under the trade name InductOs.
According to the report, Medtronic employees inserted language into medical journal articles that promoted the product without disclosing to the journals “the company’s significant role in authoring or substantively editing” the manuscripts. The company paid “approximately $210 million dollars (£130m; €163m) to physician authors of Medtronic sponsored studies from November 1996 through December 2010,” the report alleges. 
The report also claims that Medtronic employees sought to downplay adverse events associated with the product while emphasising problems with competing procedures...

1 comment:

Ed Lake said...

Dr. Nass,

This is a bit off-topic, but I've just published a new book about the anthrax attacks of 2001. It's titled "A CRIME UNLIKE ANY OTHER: What the Facts Say About Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins and the Anthrax Attacks of 2001."

It's a narrative non-fiction true-crime book that chronologically describes the crime as it was committed by Dr. Ivins; it describes the investigation and the science of the case; and it also "fills in the blanks" by examining and fitting together the known facts as found in the many thousands of pages of official documents that have been released since the case was closed in 2010.

Actions by Ivins which respected scientists with strong opinions but no direct knowledge of the case say were "impossible" are shown to be actually very simple and routine. Example: The making of the anthrax powders.

The book describes what the facts show to be the way the crime was committed, why it was committed, how the public was misled by conspiracy theorists and the media, and how the FBI gradually determined that Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the biological attack upon the United States in 2001 that killed 5 innocent Americans, injured 17 others, and resulted in BILLIONS of dollars of damages, while also playing a role in starting a war with Iraq.

If anyone is interested, they can purchase it at the printer's web site by clicking HERE.

Ed Lake