Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Naughty naughty

The orthopedic surgeon Dr. Timothy Kuklo, while at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, apparently falsified data in a paper on the bone growth protein Infuse. Dr. Kuklo had been a paid consultant for Medtronic, the company that manufactures Infuse. Dr. Kuklo hasn't responded to any emails or phone calls from NY Times reporters. He has been busy, apparently, with other clinical duties at Washington University (St. Louis).

During his time at Walter Reed Dr. Kuklo was extensively involved in research and writing about various Medtronic products, including editing two books published by the company and conducting three studies that were approved by his Army superiors, according tohis list of publications and an Army report.

The results reported by Dr. Kuklo in his Infuse study “suggested a much higher efficacy of the product being researched in the article than is supported by the experience of the purported co-authors,” according to the Army’s investigation.

Colonel Coots said Tuesday that the total number of patients Dr. Kuklo reported as having been treated for extensive lower leg wounds at Walter Reed during the study period — 138 soldiers — was greater than the number for which the hospital could find records.

12 comments:

platensimycin said...

"...Dr. Kuklo forged the signatures of four Walter Reed doctors on the article before submitting it last year to a British medical journal, falsely claiming them as co-authors. He also did not obtain the Army’s required permission to conduct the study."

Anonymous said...

And so many physicians are appalled APPALLED that the public has lost the deference and respect to which doctors feel so entitled.

tom said...

A consultant to the manufacturer found the manufacturer's product to be superior to other options...Why am I not shocked....

If the forgery statement is correct, the military may have a course of action.

This behavior goes on everyday in the private sector...How will Obama address this

Frank Drackman said...

Kuklo's a tool, they used to call him "Cuckoo" at Wally World because...... um well, just cause it went with his name... Surprised you missed the big Crime news today, former Surgeon General Antonia Novello pleading Not Guilty to Fraud in New York State Court...something about getting state workers to do her housekeeping...OK, not quite a "Law and Order" episode...

Anonymous said...

"How will Obama address this?"

Let's FIRST ask -

How will Dr. Kuklo address this?
How will WU-SL address this?
How will AMA address this?

Accountability to whom accountability is due.

Anonymous said...

Accountability from whom accountability is due, Tom.

MiamiMed said...

Why does Obama need to address it?

Cole Goins said...

The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization that I work for, just published some late-breaking details on Medtronic's ties with Kuklo. According to our data, Medtronic paid for over $13,000 worth of trips for him between 2001-2006. Full post here: http://www.publicintegrity.org/blog/entry/1366/

tom said...

The AMA has no juice over Kuklo..the worst they could do is cancel his membership? Perhaps the State licensing board, but being in the military @ the time he may not have been licensed in the State. Looks like he did the noble thing, just moved to another State. Good question on what WU might do....my guess is nothing. You could always hope for some false statements on his application!

Trav said...

apart from the science malfeasance, isn't this also fraud? He was paid to do research that he didn't really do.

PKP said...

Medtronic has been through the wringer this year on how many consultants were compensated for questionable 'fee for services'. A wink and a nod....but no more. Some surgeons made as much as $350-500,k for 'input' on device designs, biologic research, etc...names were published and many surgeons have gone into hiding. (kidding, but today's patients are far more savvy due to the internet and I can only imagine how the surgeon feels when a patient asks them to come clean about what they might have read...)
All that said, I understand the human element...and all medical practitioners today are being squeezed by lower reimbursements, higher malpractice, and the opportunities to 'augment' their income via the private sector became a way of doing business over the last ten years or so.
Now forging signatures is a different story...

Anonymous said...

What if Dr. Kulko were a resident?

The reactions (from AMA, Board, WU and public) could have been drastically different.