Published 10/1/2007

DOJ settles with device makers

As this issue of AAOS Now went to press, the Department of Justice announced a settlement had been reached with five major device makers in a investigation exploring the companies’ relationships with orthopaedic surgeons. Under the settlement, four companies (Zimmer, Inc., DePuy Orthopedics, Biomet Orthopedics, and Smith & Nephew) will pay fines totaling $311 million. Stryker Orthopedics, Inc. was not fined, but will be subject to the same federal oversight and required reforms as the others.

The companies were accused of violating the federal Anti-Kickback Statute by giving orthopaedic surgeons consulting deals as rewards for using their products. The companies denied any wrongdoing. The next issue of AAOS Now will include a full report on the investigation—including the implications for orthopaedic surgeons.