Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Surgeons fail to disclose big payments to journals

From a Reuters Health Information news item

Nearly half of surgeons who earned more than $1 million from companies that make orthopedic devices did not disclose it when they published medical journal articles, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

“The findings raise troubling questions about undisclosed payments or royalties and other fees from medical device companies that could lead to biased scientific conclusions,” said David Rothman of the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, a think tank based at Columbia University in New York.

Members of Congress including Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, have been pushing to limit the influence drugmakers have over the practice of medicine in the United States after investigations revealed that Harvard University psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Biederman and others failed to fully disclose payments from drug companies.

Rothman’s team used a public database to check the accuracy of surgeons’ financial disclosure statements.

They focused on five companies: Biomet; DePuy Orthopedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson; Smith & Nephew; Stryker and Zimmer.

These companies made a total of 1,654 payments that amounted to $248 million in 2007 for consulting, honoraria or other payments for services, the team reported.

September 15, 2010 - Posted by | Health News Items | , ,

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