Study Dissects Financial Relationships Between Surgeons And Hip Implant Makers
Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports on a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which found that the orthopedic implant industry scaled back payments to orthopedic surgeons after settling a lawsuit in 2007 with the Department of Justice for $311 million.* The lawsuit claimed that the five largest orthopedic device manufacturers, including DePuy Orthopeadics, paid kickbacks to surgeons in exchange for exclusively using their hip and knee implants. In lieu of criminal charges, prosecutors required the medical device manufacturers to disclose all of their consulting agreements with doctors, post payment amounts on their corporate websites, and allow federal authorities to oversee their actions. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine report, a total of 939 orthopedic surgeons received $198 million in 2007. Following the settlement, in 2008 the number of surgeons receiving payments from manufacturers, which includes DePuy, decreased by 40 percent. However, the proportion of surgeons receiving payments who had academic affiliations increased. That year, 568 orthopedic surgeons received a total of $119 million from hip and knee implant manufacturers. Jason Hockenberry, a professor of health policy and management at Emory University and also the lead researcher for the study, stressed the importance of closely monitoring the nature of payments to doctors by medical device manufacturers to Bloomberg News, stating “We need to manage the potential conflicts of interest that arise from these financial relationships.”**
DePuy ASR And Pinnacle Hip Replacement Lawsuits
In addition to leaving many questioning DePuy’s propriety in compensating doctors for research and clinical trials, consulting, or as royalties for products they assist in developing, DePuy is also in the midst of defending thousands of lawsuits filed by plaintiffs alleging that they were injured after receiving DePuy’s metal-on-metal artificial hip implants. In fact, two separate multidistrict litigations have been formed to handle claims filed in federal courts stemming from DePuy’s ASR hip implants and its Pinnacle hip systems. In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2197”) is a consolidation of all federal DePuy ASR lawsuits, while In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2244”) is a consolidation of the federal DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement lawsuits.
Since Johnson & Johnson issued its ASR hip recall in August 2010, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has provided a wealth of consumer information concerning both the Pinnacle and ASR hip systems on its website, www.consumerinjurylawyers.com. If you or a loved one received a DePuy ASR or Pinnacle implant during hip surgery and have experienced hip replacement pain or had to undergo revision surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other injuries.
About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993, including those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices and consumer products. The firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the “Plaintiffs’ Hot List,” recognizing the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country for the past nine consecutive years. Only two firms in the country have been selected for the Hot List nine years in a row.
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