A qui tam lawsuit filed against medical device maker, Medtronic, by its former senior legal counsel was recently unsealed, and it provides detailed insight into the unsavory way in which surgeons are induced to use certain medical devices. The whistleblower was senior counsel in the spinal-device unit. She alleges that kickbacks from Medtronic to physicians were pervasive. Sales staff routinely took physicians to the Platinum Plus strip club in Memphis and paid for the dancers’ services during VIP visits. Medtronic also took doctors on a five-day, all expenses paid trip to Alaska. The expenses allegedly included fishing guides, clothes, and more women.
These are the same folks who scream for tort reform and lobby our government to take away the rights of individual citizens to seek redress in court for injuries from defective medical devices or negligent doctors. People should know that the drugs and medical devices their doctors prescribe or implant into them are not always selected because they are the safest and most effective. Unfortunately, sometimes they are selected because their manufacturer lavished the doctor with all expenses paid trips to strip clubs and fancy resorts.