[News] Medtronic caught ghostwriting 'scientific' articles published in medical journals

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... and downplaying risks of its products:
A Senate Finance Committee investigation has revealed that Medtronic Inc., the world's largest medical device manufacturer, actively engaged in deception and fraud concerning the marketing of its bone graft device InFuse. According to reports, Medtronic secretly hired private consultants to write and edit phony medical journal articles about the $800 million-a-year device, which was meant to give the illusion that these articles were written by independent scientists and physicians.

The committee determined that Medtronic failed to disclose its role in crafting the 13 key studies that made InFuse the "blockbuster" medical device it is today, which included dispensing roughly $210 million to the consultants responsible for authoring and doctoring many of them. The report also found that the company actively downplayed the risks associated with InFuse, which include things like male sterility, serious infection, and chronic pain in the back and legs.

"Medtronic's actions violate the trust patients have in their medical care," said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) in a statement about the issue. "Medical journal articles should convey an accurate picture of the risks and benefits of drugs and medical devices, but patients are at serious risk when companies distort the facts the way Medtronic has."


Medtronics also manufactures devices for epilepsy:

I'll wager they aren't the only groups that utilize this practice.
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