Implant firms pay doctors millions
In the past decade, hip- and knee-replacement surgery has nearly doubled to about 750,000 operations a year and fueled a multibillion-dollar implant industry with profit margins approaching 20%. With so much money in play, competition among artificial hip and knee manufacturers has fostered a system of five-, six- and seven-figure payments to doctors in royalties, consulting deals, and speaking fees. Those financial arrangement have now come under intense scrutiny from federal prosecutors and members of Congress, who are considering legislation requiring disclosure.
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