The hip bone's connected to the pocket-book?

More interesting news from the New York Times: Subpoenas Seek Data on Orthopedics Makers' Ties to Surgeons. A snip:

Several large orthopedics manufacturers said yesterday that they had received subpoenas from the Justice Department, seeking information about the industry's relationships with surgeons who implant artificial knees and hips...

Speculation that the Justice Department might take such a step have been swirling through the industry for months, according to David Cassak, publisher of InVivo, a newsletter that tracks medical devices. Similar investigations into relations between drug makers and doctors they work with to promote their products have resulted in large settlements.

Relationships between the orthopedics companies and their customers are, if anything, far closer because surgeons play much larger roles in the development of orthopedic products than drugs.

The upside is that a lot of these relationships date back to before people were paying much attention to all this, and that device manufacturers are tightening up in response to the industry association Advamed's Code, which we wrote about here and here in Medical Meetings magazine.

(Thanks to Debra for the pointer, once again!)

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