Most Americans know by now that doctors get all kinds of “freebies” from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Besides the possible illegality of the situation, it makes me question the safety of the drugs and devices used by those doctors. If the products were so good…the manufacturers would not have to “purchase” their use with freebies for the doctors.
The issue has gotten even more interesting in Kentucky. Seven prominent Louisville spine surgeons are among more than 100 defendants accused of getting kickbacks from device-maker Medtronic for using or recommending its products. The suit contends Medtronic paid “sham” consulting fees to influence doctors — including an alleged total of about $1 million to the Louisville surgeons in 2006 alone. The payments ranged from $50,000 to over $200,000 in 2006.
My take: The pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in America are sophisticated and very profitable. Do you think they would pay this kind of money and not expect something in return? I don’t!