Medtronic Bone Graft LawsuitMarch 29, 2012
Medtronic, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company and also the largest medical technology company worldwide. Based in Fridley, Minnesota, Medtronic is comprised of six different departments that develop medical devices and treatments for over 30 chronic diseases, including spinal disorders. Recently, Medtronic has been criticized for its Infuse bone graft treatment and accused of both overstating perceived benefits as well as denying any associated risks or complications. The Medtronic Infuse bone graft uses a genetically engineered protein, called rhBMP-2, in order to initial bone growth in specific areas of the spine. However, rhBMP-2 has been linked to increased risk of cancer as well as several other side effects. After receiving treatment with a Medtronic Bone graft and experiencing complications, many choose to tile a lawsuit to cover their medical, emotional, and financial injuries associated with the treatment.
Medtronic Bone Graft Research
Misleading and biased claims made by researchers with financial ties to Medtronic bone graft growth products have resulted in public disapproval from medical spine experts. The June 2011 issue of The Spine Journal was devoted entirely to the repudiation of claims made by researchers that Medtronic’s Infuse product poses no risk of adverse effects or complications. Public, not to mention published disavowal of the work of peers in the medical research field, and an entire issue of a medical journal has never been devoted to the disapproval of a single product. This makes the controversy surrounding Medtronic’s Infuse Bone Graft even more ground-breaking. Furthermore, the median amount of money received by Medtronic sponsored researchers is believed to be between $12-$16 million dollars. Medtronic, whose annual profits are nearly $15 billion, made approximately $900 million from Infuse alone in the most recent fiscal year. When such large sums of money are entangled with research, the people who really suffer are the patients who are treated without having access to the real information.
Problems with Medtronic Bone Graft Studies
As mentioned before, an entire issue of The Spine Journal consisted of critiquing existing 13 industry-sponsored research studies regarding the risks and effectiveness of Medtronic’s Infuse bone graft product. According to The Spine Journal’s review, there were four major problems with these studies:
1) Financial conflicts of interest were either unclear or completely omitted.
2) Studies were biased against other common treatments for spinal fusion, which increased claims of the products benefits.
3) In larger trials, unfavorable results were not reported.
4) Many of the studies include misguided and even invalid claims regarding risks and complications of other similar treatments.