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In the Wake of the DOJ Settlement, an Orthopedics Industry Split?

Executive Summary

When the news came last fall that the five largest orthopedics companies and the US Attorney's office in New Jersey had come to a $311 million settlement following a nearly three-year old investigation into financial and consulting arrangements between those companies and orthopedic surgeons, industry executives across the board, from big and small companies, cheered. But now, just six months after the announcement, the settlement itself has given rise to some controversy and, more importantly, to a potential rift between large and small companies as follow-up efforts to create a more permanent solution have been introduced.

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The push for transparency in the health care industry has moved beyond initial regulations focused on hospital safety disclosures and is now taking on longstanding marketing practices by manufacturers. This time, money trails are the focal point, and if medical device manufacturers start to feel as if someone is spying over their shoulders, it may be more than paranoid imaginations at work. A growing list of regulations and "codes of conduct" are popping up with guidelines for any type of gratuity passing from manufacturers to physicians or hospitals. These new laws and rules are meant to be stringent and they will impact every manufacturer in the device industry.

Trends for the New Year: Can Medtech Build on the Success of 2007?

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