Senate report questions integrity of medical research on Medtronic bone growth protein

A report issued by the Senate Finance Committee based on thousands of documents subpoenad from Medtronic Inc. says that the company was heavily involved in the drafting, editing and shaping of content of medical journal articles about “Infuse” a bone growth protein used in spine surgery. In addition the report contains information suggesting that a Medtronic employee recommend to a physician that he not publish the side effects associated with Infuse in a journal article. It also alleges that Medtronic officials urged inserting language into other journal articles recommending the use of Infuse and suggesting that it was better than using bone harvesting from pelvises because of the pain associated with that procedure, documents showed. In addition, the documents showed that the company prepared physician’s speeches to a panel advising the Food and Drug administration on whether to approve the drug. The doctor speaking before the panel had submitted a disclosure which suggested his testimony was independent when in fact the company had helped him draft it and paid him as a consultant. In fuse earned a lot for Medtronic, as much as $800 million in annual sales at one point. However according to new reports the drug became a source of controversy when it was lined to deaths resulting from its use in the neck.