Take The Money Out Of Medicine!

October 8, 2009

Ortho Surgeons Frequently Omitted Required Disclosures

Orthopedic surgeons who received payments from device makers often failed to follow disclosure policies required by their chief professional society, researchers said.

Nearly 30% of manufacturers’ payments to board and committee members of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) and to presenters at its 2008 annual meeting, went unreported, according to Kanu Okike, MD, MPH, of Harvard University and colleagues.

Some 20% of payments directly related to presentation topics went undisclosed, as did half of indirectly related and unrelated payments, Okike and colleagues found.

The group’s written policy requires disclosure of all payments — including non-cash remuneration such as travel, gifts, entertainment, and meals — from companies selling products related directly or indirectly to presentation topics.

The researchers suggested that, in light of their findings, the current disclosure system based on physician self-reporting may soon be replaced by mandatory reporting by companies making such payments.

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