Money and monitors: What the settlements mean

The settlements announced by Christopher J. Christie, US Attorney for New Jersey, on Sept. 27, 2007 were in response to criminal complaints filed against several orthopaedic hip and knee implant manufacturers. The complaints allege that the companies used lucrative consulting arrangements with orthopaedic surgeons as inducements for the surgeons to use a particular company’s implants.

Under the terms of the Deferred Prosecution Agreements entered into with four implant manufacturers, these complaints will be dismissed in 18 months, if the manufacturers comply with the agreed-upon reform requirements. The four manufacturers also reached civil settlements with the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, which included both fines and a 5-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, mandating additional reforms and monitoring.

A fifth implant manufacturer was ultimately not charged and was allowed to enter a Non-Prosecution Agreement. It will be monitored, however, and must implement the same reforms as the other companies. Four of the five manufacturers paid monetary fines and all five accepted the appointment of federal monitors to review compliance with the corporate reforms required of each of them.

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