One, over half of orthopods who accepted over a million dollars from device companies in 2007 did not disclose this information in articles they published in the subsequent year. That's astounding. And illegal according to anti-kickback laws.
The medical device industry's practices were so flagrant that they prompted an investigation by the Justice Department. Indeed, the payments reported in the new study appear in Internet listings set up by five big orthopedic device makers — Zimmer, DePuy Orthopaedics, Biomet, Stryker and Smith & Nephew — as part of a September 2007 settlement that capped a federal inquiry of company kickbacks to doctors. Zimmer, DePuy Orthopaedics, Biomet and Smith & Nephew also paid the government $311 million in penalties.
Secondly, the amount of money is just staggering. The study from Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that 41 orthopods were paid a total of $114 million, with pay outs varying between $1-$8 million to each surgeon. My God, I chose the wrong specialty.
The good news is that there is some law that will go into effect in 2013 whereby a government database will keep track of doctor gifts/payments of more than $10 bucks. So we have that going for us. Which is nice.