Growing Controversy over Use of Medtronic’s Infuse for Bones

Thursday, June 30, 2011
Infuse, a leading biotech solution for repairing damaged spinal cords, has been called out by a medical journal that devoted an entire issue to the product and questioned whether its manufacturer, Medtronic, has been above board in its promotion.
 
In the latest edition of The Spine Journal, the publication of the North American Spine Society, a group of specialists has publicly repudiated the research of other experts who supported the use of Infuse, which has been applied to a half million medical cases by more than 2,000 surgeons. The publication raised the issue of doctors endorsing the bone growth therapy while maintaining financial ties to Medtronic, which recorded sales of nearly $1 billion last year from Infuse.
 
The Infuse-friendly studies were found to have underreported complications arising from the product, which can cause nerve and spine problems.
 
“It harms patients to have biased and corrupted research published,” five doctors wrote in a joint editorial that accompanied the reports. “It harms patients to have unaccountable special interests permeate medical research.”
 
It is unusual for physicians and researchers to attack their colleagues in such a highly publicized fashion. In recent years, medical journals and professional medical associations have adopted stronger standards requiring researchers to disclose financial conflicts of interest in the face of heavy criticism about their financial ties to corporations and industrial forces.
                                                                                                                          -Ken Broder
 
War Breaks Out Over Medtronic's Infuse (by Paul Thacker, Project on Government Oversight)
Spine Experts Repudiate Medtronic Studies (by Barry Meier and Duff Wilson, New York Times)
Experts Repudiate Medtronic's Research (by John Fauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Medtronic Responds to Spine Journal Report (by Aisling Maki, Memphis Daily News)

Comments

BROWNMIKE 11 years ago
kennith burkus is one of the m.d.'s who approved this bad drug. he also is one of the people who owns the patent.

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