Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article on the doctor who is currently being investigated for falsifying data on a study for one of Medtronic’s products. While the issue is not related to their Diabetes division, one could not avoid to think the implications this may have on the biggest manufacturer of insulin pumps.
The issue is related to a former Army surgeon, Dr. Timothy R. Kuklo, who alledgedly reported that a bone-growth product sold by Medtronic had much higher success than other doctors had experienced. According to reports, there are also documents that show that Medtronic may have financially supported Kuklo’s research.
According to reports published on Fierce Health, Medtronic has also made payments of almost $6 million in consulting fees, with some surgeons being paid in the high six figures in a single year. Medtronic, for its part, isn’t denying that it’s made consulting payments, but says that the payments weren’t kickbacks. Instead, it says, it paid doctors a legitimate fee to assist the company in determining how its devices could be best designed and used.
This event raises a broader issue that it’s not nearly as discussed as it should be, and is thequestion of whether companies get into the Diabetes market to do good, to get rich or just for glory. Diabetes is a growing illness, and inevitably attracts a lot of investment as there is a lot of money to be made. Whether the motivation is to finally find a cure or just to keep us alive and paying is the big questions.