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N.J. Probing Doctors' Financial Ties to Spinal Disk

Article-N.J. Probing Doctors' Financial Ties to Spinal Disk

The New Jersey Attorney General has subpoenaed officials from two companies that developed an artificial spinal disk, ProDisc, reports the New York Times. The firms are Synthes Spine, which currently markets the product, and Viscogliosi Brothers, LLC, an investment firm that helped found the company that originally developed it.

The state is looking in to whether the companies and the doctors involved in the products clinical trials divulged the doctors' financial stake in the product to FDA. About half of the 17 trial sites had doctors who stood to benefit financially if the product succeeded. Viscogliosi Brothers says it made all the necessary disclosures. As I have stated before, it is inevitable that there will be doctors who have financial stakes in the devices they help develop. That in and of itself is no big deal and shouldn't be treated as such. But proper disclosures are crucial, as failure to make them undermines public trust in medical technology.

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