Doctors Paid, Studies Edited
After reviewing over 5000 pages of documents, a U.S. Senate Committee has found that Medtronic paid around 210 million dollars to doctors to conduct and author studies on Infuse and heavily edited the journal articles but did not disclose this in the articles. Infuse is a genetically engineered protein designed to be used in spinal surgeries in place of a bone graft from the pelvis. Medtronic said Infuse was the better technique which was not true and none of the 13 studies sponsored by the company reported any side effects. Medtronic denies allegations of influencing studies and did not agree with the way the payments to physicians were described. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Infuse for use in 2002, and in 2011 it brought in approximately 800 million dollars in sales.