Invited Commentary
Oct 24, 2011

Industry Payments to PhysiciansComment on “Financial Payments by Orthopedic Device Makers to Orthopedic Surgeons”

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(19):1765-1766. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.439

In September 2007, the 5 companies that sell most of the hip and knee implants in the United States averted criminal prosecution over illegal kickbacks by accepting federal monitoring and new corporate compliance procedures.1 A federal probe had revealed that the manufacturers commonly used consulting contracts to induce orthopedic surgeons to choose their implants. Among other provisions, the companies agreed to disclose the names of all the physicians they paid as consultants—and the amounts paid to each—on their Web sites and, in new consulting agreements, require their consultants to disclose their financial associations to their patients. Between 2007 and 2008, both the amounts of payments to surgeons for ongoing consulting activity and the number receiving payments declined.1

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