Infuse Bone Graft Indicted in Senate Investigation

Recent information uncovered by a US Senate investigation committee casts a dark shadow over the medical devices industry, which often places greed and success above patient safety. The latest allegation regards Medtronic, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical devices.

Medtronic allegedly helped control the content of published papers praising its Infuse product, and even contributed millions of dollars to doctors in exchange for their co-authorship of papers. The Senate investigation alleges that benefits of Infuse were overstated, while risks were severely downplayed.

Infuse was developed to revolutionize spinal surgery. Rather than grafting bone from other parts of the body, Infuse is a natural enzyme that promotes natural bone growth. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Infuse for certain procedures, but maintained concerns about its effect on other procedures.

Hearings conducted by the Senate Committee on Finance revealed the FDA may have been deceived right out of the gate. According to testimony, a medical doctor presented to an FDA advisory panel and spoke glowingly about Infuse in January 2002, before the drug was actually approved. Dr. Hal Matthews reportedly spoke in the present tense that he had no financial interest in Infuse and was not being paid to attend the meeting.

Despite this declaration, it came to light that Matthews had in fact been compensated by Medtronic one year prior, under a consulting arrangement. It has also been alleged that Matthews’ speech to the advisory panel was written under the supervision of a New York public relations firm funded by Medtronic. Later, Matthews was hired by Medtronic as president of medical and clinical affairs.

This is just one recent allegation against Medtronic and other medical device manufacturers. It has also been alleged that at least 13 doctors were paid a sum of $210 million over 15 years to help craft papers in support of Infuse. These kinds of allegations are extremely alarming, and demonstrate that the problem with medical device failure goes much deeper than many realize.

If you or someone you love has suffered debilitating side effects from Infuse, or from other medical devices like metal-on-metal hips or transvaginal mesh products, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The drug companies are actively covering up the flaws with their products, and a great deal of suffering could have been prevented.

Call the Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen to receive a free, confidential consultation. As contingency lawyers, we don’t get paid unless we win you a recovery, so you need not hesitate due to an inability to pay. Call us today at 1-800-718-4658.

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