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Surgeons routinely fail to disclose financial ties

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, September 14, 2010

Orthopedic surgeons who were paid millions by medical device manufacturers often failed to disclose their financial ties in their published research, according to a new study that mirrors findings of an ongoing Journal Sentinel investigation.

The new study found that nearly half of orthopedic surgeons who made at least $1 million from any of five orthopedic device makers in 2007 did not have that relationship published in their scientific articles in 2008.

Beyond that, the study highlights the vast sums paid to a select group of surgeons in the orthopedic field.

It found that in 2007 just 41 surgeons and researchers got $114 million from the five firms, an average of $2.8 million each. That was part of the more than $248 million shelled out to orthopedic surgeons by the five companies in one year.

And one of the biggest companies in the field, Medtronic, was not even included in the analysis.